DC Bigotry

Friday, November 13, AD 2009

No Catholic Bashing

As Joe in his brilliant post here notes, various organs of the Left are in a tizzy because the Archdiocese of Washington has stood up to the attempt by secular bigots to force the Archdiocese to act contrary to Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality.  Here is the statement of the Archdiocese:

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3 Responses to DC Bigotry

  • There seems to me a lack of understanding of the nature of charitable giving. If the council of the District of Columbia wishes to cut back on what is given for the poor, why then that council may do so. That it is a foul and disgusting thing to do so is evident. Who pays the piper calls the tune.

    This is always the danger of the Church taking dubious money.

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  • As a result, religious organizations and individuals are at risk of legal action for refusing to promote and support same-sex marriages in a host of settings where it would compromise their religious beliefs. This includes employee benefits…

    WRONG. A point missed by both sides (Doesn’t the Archdiocese have competent Counsel that reviews tehse things?), employee benefits are regulated under federal law with a state pre-emption. The proposed DC marriage law would make no change for any employer (relgious or secular) as far as employee health & welfare benefits.

Pray for Larry David, Creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm

Wednesday, October 28, AD 2009

[Warning: Vile language in this posting.]

Larry David Jerry Seinfeld

Larry David is the creative producer of NBC’s Seinfeld and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiam.  Over the weekend in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm he relieves himself on the picture of Jesus.  The details and context of the episode are not worth explaining due to the unfortunate attack on God and our Christian faith by this depraved human being.

Like so many in Hollywood, anti-Christian, more specifically, anti-Catholicism, is still prevalent among many movers and shakers.  Imagine if they would even consider insulting the founder of Islam, Mohammad, as such?  Not in a million years.

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90 Responses to Pray for Larry David, Creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm

  • Tito:

    While I admire the spirit with which you intended the posting of this entry, doesn’t doing so simply allows for free publicity of the very depraved act you are (quite rightly, of course) protesting?

    In other words, these days, it is this kind of free publicity that such folks crave because the controversy it generates (particularly, amongst the religious) are exactly the kind that promote their projects (in this case, a television series) amongst the general populace, potentially leading to more expanded viewership.

    Myself being aware of such tactics personally, I hardly give them the satisfaction by engaging in such action, which would only serve to promote their utterly repulsive objectives.

  • I don’t understand. They should receive
    publicity – lots of negative publicity .
    They cannot be allowed to get away with this .

    Its not just the one episode, its a whole
    series of things, and the immorality and
    violence as a whole in Hollywood .
    Pray that God intervenes and that there will
    be changes .

  • I like how you say they wouldn’t do this to any other religion but no other religion is constantly claiming to find ‘weeping’ icons.

    IT’S CALLED SATIRE AND IT IS FUNNY

    I know you’re not going ot post this.

  • In your gloss, such an action (for instance, this display of outrage demonstrated by Tito’s post) would seem like negative publicity insofar as those particularly religious are concerned; however, that is not entirely the case especially with respect to the general masses, which such controversies as this specifically target.

    There is nothing more reliable than counting on this kind of outrage by such religious folks, which these controversies (in particular, this kind of media attention) generally depend.

    In fact, this is what the network strategists typically count on in order to boost viewership, especially in instances where it appears to be declining.

    Put it this way, if only members of the religious community would not respond in kind to such tactics in this manner and simply altogether ignore it, they would perhaps cease resorting to this kind of tactic.

    However, some are so predictable in the kind of reaction typically expected from them due to this already age-old maneuver that religious zealots (while seeming to do the right thing) ironically play right into the hands of these seemingly clever network strategists by inadvertently giving them exactly the kind of free publicity such media folks originally sought by employing such a tactic.

    In other words:

    “How do the Hollywood types boost up viewership for our shows?”

    Simple: Attack members of the religious communities by doing something controversial that will undoubtedly offend them.

    Their outrage will not only guarantee publicity for the shows themselves to a attract a much wider audience but also, what’s even more, it’ll be free!

    Ingenious when you think about it since what could be more reliable (and, consequently, more effective) than that outrage which such media tactics depends?

    The Da Vinci Code is a prime example.

    There were hundreds of folks I know (through various fraternal and academic associations) who, if not for such outrage, would have hardly been interested in seeing that very movie. However, because of the overwhelming reaction of several Christian communities, it generated such interest amongst them to actually see that movie, which is precisely the kind of publicity these media moguls were counting on.

  • Matt

    May I direct your attention to the following site:

    http://www.miraclesofislam.com/

  • e.,

    Like you continue to post comments and attract more attention?

  • Tito:

    My posting comments is not the same as your having created an entry that actually gives the kind of free publicity the show itself craves. In fact, it is moot since harm has already been done by your having already created the entry itself.

    Besides, my purpose is to expose this tactic so that a greater awareness of how these folks think and why they do what they do comes to light.

    Again, I don’t fault you for doing so; it really isn’t your fault since you were only doing what you considered right in light of the situation.

    How could you know that you were actually playing (even if unwittingly) right into the hands of some rather devious reprobates?

    If anything, you were only doing what every good Catholic these days don’t (unfortunately): take one’s Catholic Faith seriously.

    This is precisely why (as you rightly asserted within the context of your own entry) Hollywood would not dare insult Islam but have no qualms whatsoever about insulting Catholicism.

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  • Larry David has condemned himself by his actions. Pissing on a picture of Jesus is usually a last phase action of a demon who having seen the light, willfully challenges it instead of repenting. Now since Christianity is true, Larry has indeed messed with the Holy Spirit. Bleating to the press about how unfair it is that the sensibilities of other religions are spared is beside the point, as the Devil has no time for them.

  • Anyone who follows CURB knows that Larry David ridicules Judaism far more than any other religion. I urge anyone who takes offence (and most will probably have not even seen this particular episode) to sit down and watch the previous 6 series of the show and you might then understand the context. You will then be in a better position to pass judgement and decide whether to be offended.

    In fact, if all you ‘religious types’ stayed in your houses and watched more shows like this rather than going out to spread hate & prejudice then the world would be a better place.

    At last, more and more people are finally coming to see the truth that religion is a scam and deserves no respect.

    Good people will always do good things, evil people will always do evil things…it takes religion to make good people do evil things.

  • “Good people will always do good things, evil people will always do evil things…it takes religion to make good people do evil things.”

    This is quite possibly the stupidest, shallowest thing atheists say.

    How do you even know what “good” is? You have no moral compass, man to you is nothing but an animal. We eat animals. Animals eat each other. The law of the jungle does not know goodness or evil, but only survival and efficiency.

    I have watched Curb, I used to be a fan – used to be, before this disgusting outrage. I will never watch the show again.

    Do you even know the slightest thing about Jesus Christ? You expect us to know about some stupid show on HBO when your knowledge of the person being desecrated is probably based on 10 second sound bites?

  • Shmohawk,

    Just because he ridicules his own faith, doesn’t give him the right to ridicule someone else’s.

    You have a false sense of logic here without an ounce of reason.

  • Also…

    “it takes religion to make good people do evil things”

    How stupid do you have to be to even repeat something like this? Good people do good things. Someone who does evil over and over again is evil. A “religious” person who does evil things is evil, period.

  • @Tito, do you really want to live in a society where it’s only ok to poke fun at yourself? Allow me to Godwin this conversation: would you criticize Hitler? By your logic, you’d have to be a Nazi to do so.

  • Anonymous,

    Nazi’s were the governing party of Germany.

    You get to choose to remain a Catholic or not.

    You need to work out your philosophical arguments out before present them as a intellectual discourse.

    By the way, we rarely respond to people who sign in as anonymous, so I did you a favor.

  • Larry David is not a Christian. The people who watched that episode and were amused by it most likely are not Christians. As non-Christians, they are not obligated in any way to show reverence or even respect for your god because they do not believe in or worship your god. See how that works? The Constitution gives you the right to worship as you please, but that’s all. It does not give you the right to insist that others — even people of different religions or no religion — show you some extra measure of respect because of your beliefs.

    What you self-righteously and erroneously identify as “anti-Christian” or “anti-Catholic” is nothing more than a reflection of your own arrogance. Just because someone does not share your belief and chooses to find humor in your religion does not mean that person is “anti” anything — it just means that person does not believe as you do. It’s a big, cold world, and in it, people have many different beliefs and world views. That they do not agree with yours does not make them any less valid, nor does it mean they are actively opposed to your beliefs or that they are in some way persecuting you.

    I know it’s difficult for people who base their lives on unprovable beliefs that contradict reality to do this, but you Christians really need to grow up and understand that others are free to disagree with you, believe different things, and to say whatever they please about your beliefs, and that when they do that it does not mean that they are somehow morally inferior to you. It’s a free country, and in a free country people get offended. The best defense for this is to develop a thick skin. The United States does not exist to serve Christianity; it is an entirely secular nation in which no religion is officially recognized and all religions — or lack of religion — are allowed. What Christians so often identify as persecution is nothing more than the natural reaction of others to their arrogance and pious sense of entitlement and to their constant efforts to impose their beliefs on EVERYONE and to turn America into something it is not and never has been. Personal beliefs are just that — PERSONAL. They should be kept that way.

    If you find Larry David’s humor offensive, then don’t watch Larry David’s show. Whether or not other people watch and enjoy his show is none of your damned business.

  • Ray Garton,

    It’s amazing you took time out to tell us that it’s a free country and that our beliefs are unprovable.

    If so, why bother?

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • You must not have read my entire post. I assume you already know it’s a free country and your beliefs are unprovable. My point was that you Christians really need to control yourselves. The Dark Ages are over. You’re not in charge anymore — and we all know what happened when you were.

  • anon@ 11.37 In your world, when you criticise someone, say your kid, do you do so by urinating on a photograph of his? Is that how it is done? Slag off all you want about Christianity but don’t pretend that scum Larry was merely poking fun.

  • Ray Garton,

    Would it be ok to go on national television and insult you, your mother, and anyone else close to you?

    You fail to understand that there is a certain amount of responsibility involved with free speech.

    Do you think someone can get away with issuing a threat to our President and not have repurcussions?

    You really need to think this through before you make a fool of yourself.

    As far as the “Dark Ages”, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church during the “Dark Ages” we wouldn’t have a concept called a “University”, science, astronomy, books, and beer just to name a few. Plus the fact we stemmed the tide of Islam.

    So think next time you spout falsehoods.

    If all you get is your information from tv, then you really don’t know much at all.

    So be thankful you aren’t be scourged in the city center while your mother is forced to wear a burqa and everyone around you are driving around on donkey’s as a means of transportation.

  • Larry David did not urinate on a picture of Jesus. Backsplash from the toilet spattered the picture. I think most of you know this, but you seem to lack confidence in your stand and feel you must mischaracterize the thing you’re protesting, virtually lying about it. If you have to lie to make your point, there’s something wrong with your point.

    Tito wrote: “Would it be ok to go on national television and insult you, your mother, and anyone else close to you?”

    Yes, it would be okay. I wouldn’t like it, of course, and I no doubt would respond. But life is full of things I don’t like. It’s full of things ALL of us don’t like. We need to be mature and adult enough to recognize that and live with it. I refer you to my earlier remark about thick skin.

    Tito wrote: “You fail to understand that there is a certain amount of responsibility involved with free speech.”

    I agree. However, those responsibilities do not include avoiding offending Christians or any other religion. No law exists in America prohibiting this.

    Tito wrote: “Do you think someone can get away with issuing a threat to our President and not have repurcussions?”

    It is against the law to threaten the president. It is not against the law to joke about Jesus or god or the Easter Bunny or Batman, or any other mythical figures. If you can’t see the difference, then the problem lies not in Larry David’s comedy but in your delusional view of the world.

    Tito wrote: “You really need to think this through before you make a fool of yourself.”

    I’m not the one who compared joking about Jesus to committing a federal offense. I honestly think you’re confused about who’s the fool.

    Tito wrote: “As far as the “Dark Ages”, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church during the “Dark Ages” we wouldn’t have a concept called a “University”, science, astronomy, books, and beer just to name a few.”

    I’m sure the countless numbers of people your church tortured and slaughtered because they didn’t like them were very grateful for all those things. I would also like to point out that Hitler and Stalin and other bloodthirsty dictators like them made the trains run on time. That neither changes nor excuses the many people they killed.

    Tito wrote: “Plus the fact we stemmed the tide of Islam.”

    Defeating your competition in the dubious religion business is hardly a public service.

    Tito wrote: “So think next time you spout falsehoods.”

    You haven’t pointed out a single falsehood I’ve written here. Perhaps you need to think this through a little more, Titus.

    Tito wrote: “If all you get is your information from tv, then you really don’t know much at all.”

    My information comes from recorded history. Where on earth do you get YOUR information?

    Tito wrote: “So be thankful you aren’t be scourged in the city center while your mother is forced to wear a burqa and everyone around you are driving around on donkey’s as a means of transportation.”

    So the best way you know to defend your religion is to slam another. There’s no difference between the two as far as I can see. The Muslim faith is doing nothing different now than the Catholic faith did in the past. And I’m sure the Catholic faith would still be doing it if it were still in charge — something I’m sure it’s working on remedying as soon as possible.

  • Ray Garton,

    If you read my post I specifically avoided going into detail about what particularly happened. How it happened is irrelevant, but the fact that it did happen is.

    I agree there is free speech, I’m all for it, but again, did I say lets enact a law? No. I said lets pray for Mr. Larry David.

    To reiterate again and again, I am not asking for a federal law. I am enacting MY free speech to ask Mr. Larry David to desist from insulting God as he did.

    So as soon as you get that notion out of your head since you’ve been brainwashed that all us Krischians want is a theocracy (I’m reading between your constant accusations that we want a federal law for a federal offense.)

    I’ve pointed out all of the falsehoods you have spoken. You can be obtuse as much as you want, even a layperson could understand that your argument is about creating a federal law in which I never mentioned it.

    Besides, I was talking more about the Dark Ages.

    Recorded history? Like National Geographic?

    Again, open a book and read up on the alleged “Dark Ages”. You have failed to point out anything I said is untrue.

    As far as Islam, I was making a point about the “Dark Ages”.

    But if you insist on diverting attention from the argument, then do so at your own risk.

    I have a right to object to Mr. Larry David’s insults.

    You somehow believe I want to enact a federal law against this which I never mentioned. I asked that we pray for him and then you go into ad hominem’s about the Catholic faith. Which I retorted and you failed to answer.

    Come on Ray, it aint that hard is it?

    Or are you not used to debating with someone who has cold hard facts? Too much unchallenged thinking in college caught your tongue? (or your analytical abilities for that matter)

  • Mr. Ray Garton,

    I’m done with my early morning prayers and so I have to head back to sleep.

    I actually enjoyed engaging in debate with you and I hope you do understand where I (and many more Catholics are) am coming from.

    We can resume later today if you wish.

    Know that I love you as a brother in Christ.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • I love the “enlightened” secularist responses.

    “He wasn’t REALLY disrespecting your religion, so lighten up! Ok, maybe he was, but he did the same to another religion before that, so that makes it ok. And, by the way, your religion is bulls#$&, your so-called “god” is a fake, and you caused more evil in the world than anything else, ever and you dark age bigots deserve what you get!”

    But THEY’RE the “brights”. Got it. I can almost see the maniacal frothing as they type. Or copy and paste. Whatever.

  • “Just because someone does not share your belief and chooses to find humor in your religion does not mean that person is “anti” anything — it just means that person does not believe as you do.”

    Ray, are you serious. When Catholics stand up for their beliefs about the sanctity of life and traditional marriage (usually very respectfully btw), they are labeled ANTI-choice, ANTI-gay, homophobic misogynists. Most people want it labeled “hate speech” to even SUGGEST that the traditional definition of marriage should remain. Yet somehow it’s not ANTI-Christian to mock and desecrate an image of the Christian Lord? It is a difference of beliefs, but it’s expressed in a way that is certainly anti-Christian.

    No one is suggesting it be against the law to do this or that Larry David should be put in jail. But free speech is a two way street. People don’t have the right to suppress speech because it’s offensive, but the speaker doesn’t have the right to stop those who are offended from speaking out in opposition.

  • Never seen this show–no cable. Sounds like a pretty contrived device; good satire needs a touch of plausibility to it. Who hangs a big picture of Jesus in their bathroom? Who backsplashes to the extent that would be required for this plot? Who over the age of six can’t practice proper toilet hygiene? What moderately sane Catholic would assume random droplets on a picture to be of miraculous origin absent other factors? So was the point of the exercise to “satirize” a common human foible, or to work out a scenario that would allow the players to include an act that ranges, depending on the viewer’s level of piety, from tasteless to really, really offensive?

    “Satires” of this type are objectionable because they don’t really satirize (i.e. ridicule the vices and follies of human nature.) They manufacture a situation that allows them to get away with contempt toward something–reverence or spirituality–normally recognized as good. Most of us outgrow this level of humor by our mid-teens, if not earlier.

  • “It takes religion to make good people do evil things.”

    Comments like this give good reason to doubt the speaker has read so much as a single book detailing one of the many atrocities of the 20th Century.

    http://tinyurl.com/yjvqnt3

  • This is Zionist humor. Now we (people of the earth) are not to make pictures graven images of God, heaven or hell. Yet it is the very idea and action that he was doing says where Larry is coming from. I bet if someone wiped their ass with an israeli flag, that person whould be deemed “anti-semite” (air quote), which is really utter disgust for Zionist and their agenda.

  • “Comments like this give good reason to doubt the speaker has read so much as a single book detailing one of the many atrocities of the 20th Century.”

    I you want to bring up Hitler then you are right, you only need to read so much as a single book.

    To quote Mein Kampf…

    “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” (p.46)

    “This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief.” (p.152)

    “What we have to fight for…is the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator.” (p.125)

    + many others.

    Religion has formed the dividing lines of almost EVERY conflict or atrocity in human history…

    Israel / Palestine
    Kosovo
    Bosnia
    The War on Terror – Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11
    Northern Ireland
    The Crusades
    The Spanish conquests of the Americas
    The Thirty Years War
    …and the list goes on

    And what motivates ‘good’ people to commit such acts…RELIGION.

    But I digress, Larry David didn’t deliberately pee on Jesus!

  • Considering the futility of trying to have a rational conversation with those who worship invisible deities, commenting on this blog about the “disrespect” of nonbelievers is like tilting at windmills. I readily admit that no words of mine can compete with the allure of eternal life. Any words of mine that might be volatile would at least give you the warm feeling of assurance that I would spend eternity in Hades ( it is so human to feel that being rewarded with the miracle of escaping death is not enough; that you also need to have the added comfort of eternal torture of those who disagree with you!)

    Nevertheless, I think it is important from my perspective to get god-a-holics to understand that they do not have legal standing to censure the rest of us who cheer at open disrespect of institutionalized insanity. Yah and verily, I say unto you… that THIS is human progress.

  • Shmohawk:

    Your litany demonstrates nothing more than your remarkable stupidity and ever deplorable sense of logic.

    Do you know what’s even more annoying than religious people?

    Stupid people like you who are so incapable of genuine dialogue that formulating even the semblance of a simple argument appears beyond the very measure of your capability.

    Ray Garton:

    Your comments are so amusing that it almost likens to parody.

    Your endless rant would make it seem that the United States was specifically founded for you and your fellow athiests.

    Yet, given the religious leanings of the Founding Fathers themselves and the rather bothersome language they typically employed concerning that “One Nation Under God”; these did not blindly subscribe to some blatantly erroneous notion of “freedom from religion”, as you would make it appear, but rather “freedom of religion”, wherein religion of the individual is to be respected — not denigrated — to such extent that certain measures were taken concerning particular circumstances wherein individuals so discriminated are afforded proper protection by even the law itself.

    So, next time you would like to deliver another one of your “the United States is the Promised Land of Atheists”, do give some serious attention and due examination of the language of the Founding Fathers as set out in the consequential documents from which the lay of this land was established.

    Your arrogance is not only appalling; it is repulsively revisionist.

    Of course, perhaps that “dubious religion business” of the Founding Fathers themselves from which this country was originally based may very well be the cause for why you would rather invent such delusional fiction from which to base your “U.nited S.tates of A.thiests.”!

    Yet, it can surely be dismissed as nothing more than simply “arrogance”, a “pious sense of entitlement” and the need to impose your athiest beliefs upon the masses; nothing more.

  • Schmohawk,

    There are these two atheists named Stalin and Mao who between the two of them killed more of their own people than just about all other previous wars and massacres combined. All in persuit of an ideology which, while having a certain aura of religiosity in the way that people devoted themselves to it, most explicitly rejected the existence of God or the eternal and instead pursued a transformative ideal within a strictly materialistic world view.

    I suppose you could theorize that everyone involved in the mass slaughters of their and a variety of lesser communist regimes were all the result of “bad people doing bad things” rather than “good people doing bad things” but that’s a rather silly semantic game as there’s no discernable difference between “good people” and “bad people” other than there actions. Indeed, I would argue that there is no such thing as “good people” or “bad people”. There are simply people. Some do mostly bad things, some do mostly good things, most do a pretty even number of both.

    Karen,

    You’re certain welcome to think that way, but theorizing that one of the major motives for theists is joy at the idea that some other people might be damned doesn’t correllate very well with most real world interractions with theists.

    As for whether “institutionalized insanity” should be mocked (leaving aside the question of whether that is what religion is) — I suppose it depends how much value one puts on the thoughts and experiences of other people. I consider ancient paganism to be utterly false, and indeed consider Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism to be false as well — but I would consider it the height of rudeness to go around actively mocking their rites and sacred symbols — not because I think they’re true, but because I don’t consider it particularly admirable to actively insult and trample on the beliefs which millions of people gain meaning and hope from.

    I’m perfectly happy to explain to my Buddhist and Hindu friends why I consider Catholicism to be true, or why I don’t find Hindu or Buddhist worldviews persuasive, but I certainly would actively abuse their sacred places or symbols — if only out of respect for them as people, and a desire not to cause human suffering for my own amusement.

  • I love it when dime store atheists attempt to claim Hitler was a theist, thus proving that it is not only in regard to God that they are completely clueless. From the Tabletalk of Hitler:

    ‘The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life’s final task will be to solve the religious problem. Only then Will the life of the German native be guaranteed once and for all.”

    “The evil that’s gnawing our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. I can’t at present give them the answer they’ve been asking for, but it will cost them nothing to wait. It’s all written down in my big book. The time will come when I’ll settle my account with them, and I’ll go straight to the point.”

    “I don’t know which should be considered the more dangerous: the minister of religion who play-acts at patriotism, or the man who openly opposes the State. The fact remains that it’s their maneuvers that have led me to my decision. They’ve only got to keep at it, they’ll hear from me, all right. I shan’t let myself be hampered by juridical scruples. Only necessity has legal force. In less than ten years from now, things will have quite another look, I can promise them.”

    “We shan’t be able to go on evading the religious problem much longer. If anyone thinks it’s really essential to build the life of human society on a foundation of lies, well, in my estimation, such a society is not worth preserving. If’ on the other hand, one believes that truth is the indispensable foundation, then conscience bids one intervene in the name of truth, and exterminate the lie.”

    “Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close cooperation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.”

    “The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no “T” will remain uncrossed, no “I” undotted!”

    “Religion has formed the dividing lines of almost EVERY conflict or atrocity in human history…”

    You really did sleep through all your history classes didn’t you? Here is a sample of conflicts that had nothing to do with religion, unless one assumes that atheism is a religion:

    World War I

    World War II

    Korean War

    Vietnam

    The American Civil War

    The War of 1812

    The Napoleonic cycle of wars

    The American Revolution

    The list could go on to encompass most of the wars fallen man has engaged in. If you are going to troll a Catholic website you’ll have to do much better than this.

  • Karen Leonard:

    “Considering the futility of trying to have a rational conversation with those who worship invisible deities…”

    Well, I don’t know — the Founding Fathers themselves ‘worship[ped] invisible dieties’ and, yet, rational conversation, let alone, the founding of this very nation, wasn’t beyond the realm of reason.

    Of course, the fact that the whole of Western Civilization itself being borne from the likes of a once united Christendom should also give one pause.

    Indeed, most of the scientists that gave birth to the scientific human progress were, in fact, largely Christian.

    Yet, that would require an intimate knowledge of history itself as well as reason; both of which, unfortunately, you do not possess in any discernible measure.

    But, please, don’t let the facts hinder you from formulating such creative nonsense.

    “god-a-holics” is surely the work of a creative genius!

  • It would be easy to show respect for the beliefs of Christians if they adhered to those beliefs themselves. Reading over the comments from Christians here on this forum, I can only imagine how proud you must all make Jesus.

  • “…the rest of us who cheer at open disrespect…”

    Very telling. And this is supposed to convince me that atheism and not religion is the font of compassion why, exactly?

  • “Reading over the comments from Christians here on this forum, I can only imagine how proud you must all make Jesus.”

    Have you ever read the Bible? Jesus did not suffer proud fools gladly.

    “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2″The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
    5″Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

    8″But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.[b] 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[c]

    15″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

    16″Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

    23″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

    25″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

    27″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

    29″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!

    33″You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

    37″O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

  • Ray Garton:

    Originally, you engaged in a long tirade concerning how awfully delusional Christians are because of their very beliefs.

    Now, your most recent comment happens to fall back on the very contents of — wait for it — their very beliefs; the very same you expressed outright animosity towards?

    In other words, insulting such beliefs are fun and even necessary; yet, when it comes down right to it, when the chips do happen to fall and you have nothing more to depend upon (save your own stupidity), you have no problems whatever with attempting to find safe harbor under the merits of such beliefs when it ultimately suits you.

    Bravo!

    You prove both the sheer hypocrisy and immense futility of the atheist project all in one breath!

  • Yes, I’ve read the bible and know it quite well. I’ve also read the Harry Potter books, but that doesn’t mean I believe in wizards.

  • No, e., my reference to your beliefs was an attempt to hold you to them. I might sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” at Christmas time, but that doesn’t mean I believe in Santa Claus. According to your magic book, Jesus Christ taught humility, but I see none of that in Christians today. He taught his followers to love one another, and even their enemies, but I CERTAINLY see none of THAT in Christians today. He told his followers not to pray publicly, to go to their closets to pray so they don’t make arrogant spectacles of themselves, and yet Christians in America demand that their particular brand of prayer be engaged in at government functions and are angry that prayer is not allowed in public schools. *I* don’t believe in Jesus Christ — outside of the bible, there is no record that he ever existed, and the bible certainly isn’t a historical record, it’s a book of myths, so I see no reason to believe in Jesus Christ. Christians, however, DO believe in him and claim to be followers of his teachings — and yet their behavior constantly proves this not to be the case. So those of us outside of Christianity can only conclude that Jesus Christ is nothing more than a hood ornament used as a front for anger, hatred, bigotry, and a hunger for power. The fault for that lies with Christians and no one else.

  • To paraphrase Ray: “I’d believe you [Do you mean that?] if you lived up to your standards.”

    And I’ll be an atheist when they start living up to their standards — oh, wait! They don’t have any! That would be imposing moral absolutes on people, and we can’t have that.

  • I don’t know if “Voldemort” appears in the Declaration of Independence, which document incidentally provides unequivocal affirmation of both the beliefs of the American people as well as their faith in — “God”!

  • The similarities between Ray Garton’s exegesis and that of your run of the mill evangelical fundamentalist are striking, but sadly, not all that surprising. The resulting strawman massacre is, likewise, unsurprising.

  • Ray Garton:

    In the beginning, you detested our beliefs and rather have us not hold them — only to come around the second time to insist that we hold them?

    Amazing.

  • The Declaration of Independence is just that — a declaration of America’s independence from Britain. While it remains a historical document of great significance, it is a document of its time and isn’t even accurate any longer — it identifies the United States as being made up of 13 states. It is not the law of the land, nor is it a reflection of the character of this nation. The document that does that (and which is still valid today) is the United States Constitution, which remains in effect to this day and does not mention god or religion once. Out of slavering desperation, Christians often point to the date on the document, which uses the phrase “the year of our lord,” but that was simply the standard way of writing the date at that time, and was used by believers and non-believers alike. It is no more a statement of belief than using the names of the days of the week, which are based on pagan gods, is a statement of belief in those gods. If the forefathers wanted this to be a “Christian nation,” they would have explicitly pointed this out in the Constitution. Instead, that document reflects the character of this nation — no mention is made of god or religion as it outlines this secular government. No amount of groping or desperately reaching for straws will change that.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I have work to do, so I’m going to leave you to your snide Christ-like insults of those who don’t share your beliefs. Enjoy the rest of the year.

  • “No, e., my reference to your beliefs was an attempt to hold you to them.”

    “It would be easy to show respect for the beliefs of Christians if they adhered to those beliefs themselves.”

    So, which is it?

    Would you rather we repudiate our beliefs or hold them?

    “[T]he bible certainly isn’t a historical record, it’s a book of myths, so I see no reason to believe
    in Jesus Christ.”

    Okay — let me get this straight, based on your previous statement, it would appear as though your argument here is:

    ‘It would be easy to show respect for the beliefs of Christians if only they adhered to those beliefs themselves, which simply come from a book of myths?’

    In other words, your own intellectual powers demonstrated herein (not to mention, rhetorical prowess and logical thought) leaves much to be desired.

  • e.,

    Please refrain from abusive language.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/comments-policy/

    I appreciate your passion and I share your resolve and information you provide in defense of God.

  • I don’t see how exposing flaws in an opponent’s arguments counts as ‘abusive language’; but there you have it.

    Plus, it would behoove you to first examine the language you yourself employed in your own exchange with Mr. Garton prior to criticizing any of the others.

  • So many commentators, so little time and space….
    Just picking out a few tidbits; the founding fathers were not Christians, they despaired over the hodgepodge of conflicting dogma of the citizens, many-if not most- who had fled here from religious persecution of waring religious factions throughout Europe. As Jefferson so succinctly put it, “Is there anything that people won’t believe? ” The best they could do was to separate religion from government. That has not worked very well, as we have seen the injection of god into the pledge of allegiance in the fifties – due to the fear of communism, the swearing on the bible to take an official oath in court or in politics.

    Many of the wars mentioned by a previous commenter were not officially “holy wars” – but they were certainly backed by the churches. My own belief is that all wars are seeking to take over some resource that another group possesses, and religion is simply the handiest tool to use to convince people that by killing others, and dying themselves, this murder will give them eternal life.

    As to “cheering disrespect” – yes, I do think that showing open resentment for the power and influence worshipers have in our country is important. Although nonbelievers are a large segment of citizens, and have the lowest statistics of criminality, we are at the bottom of the list of for “trustworthy” in public office.

    As to scientists through history being Christians, considering the likelihood of being able to fund or publish anything in that realm without the blessing of church was nil – and even worse fates awaited you if you denied a belief, I would bet that most scientists professed beliefs they did not themselves believe. Look at poor Galileo, Issac Newton.

    So to wrap it up, I think that being able to openly protest and poke fun of what was “the holiest of holy’s” shows that humans are progressing towards a glimmer of enlightenment.

    I

  • According to your magic book, Jesus Christ taught humility, but I see none of that in Christians today. He taught his followers to love one another, and even their enemies, but I CERTAINLY see none of THAT in Christians today.

    It seems to me like you’re arguing through exaggeration here. It surely can’t be the case that you’ve seen no humility in Christians today — that you’ve never seen a Christian act in a humble fashion because he believes that is the demand of his faith. Nor can it be the case that you’ve never seen Christians love others, including their enemies. What you mean is simply that you don’t always see this, and thus that Christians are obviously not living up to their beliefs all of the time — indeed are often not living up to their beliefs as fully as they could be.

    Now, unless your theory is that Christians are not supposed to be human beings, and thus are not supposed to have the tendency to allow baser instincts to overcome their ideas of what they ought to be doing, this is hardly surprising. I can’t think of any group whose members live up to their stated ideals all of the time.

    And so the above amounts to nothing other than to inform us that generally speaking you don’t like Christians and so you tend to recall their negative actions more than their positive ones. We learn about as much about Christians from your comment as we might learn about Mexicans from someone who said, “Mexicans say they come to this country to work, but so far as I can tell they’re always just sitting around being lazy.” And indeed, the effect of your comment on listeners who are or know Christians will be roughly as positive as the example comment would be on people who aren’t racists.

    *I* don’t believe in Jesus Christ — outside of the bible, there is no record that he ever existed, and the bible certainly isn’t a historical record, it’s a book of myths, so I see no reason to believe in Jesus Christ.

    This isn’t true on either point. At a minimum, there are a large number of extra-biblical ancient sources that mention Jesus because there were a number of gospels, epistles, and other accounts which had some degree of following but were rejected by the Church when it was assembling the official canon of the New Testament. While the Church considered these documents not to be inspired scripture, they certainly do present a number of texts which attest that the authors believed the Christ did in fact live in first century Palestine roughly was was described in the canonical Gospels.

    Similarly, several non-Christian ancient sources make reference to Jesus, if only to say something along the lines of, “And the Christians believe that Jesus, a preacher who lived in the time of Herod Antipas, rose from the dead after three days.”

    Further, you seem to suffer under the illusion that there is some bright and clear distinction between “historical records” and other forms of writing in the ancient world. This isn’t really the case. Certainly, you’ll find some people self-consciously writing “history” such as Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius, etc. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the things they relate happen as described. And much modern historical work consists of taking a variety of sources (including sources such as personal letters which were not at all written with the intent of being historical documents) and using them as testimony in order to get an idea of events or conditions at a given time. In light of that, it’s certainly not in appropriate to look at all of the accounts and letters which mention Christ as someone who lived in historical Palestine and take it from that that he did in fact live there. Indeed, the idea of claiming that the very existence of Jesus is a myth is a comparatively modern one. Non-Christian sources in the past tended to accept Christ existed, but deny that he was God and insist that his followers stole and hid his body in order to claim he was risen from the dead.

    And that’s not even getting into the misconceptions you seem to have about what a “myth” is.

    Doubtless you have your own strongly held reasons for considering Christianity false, but if you’re going to wade into an area in which people know a great deal more than you and make a bunch of statements which are clearly false, you’re hardly going to be taken as an authority.

  • Karen L.,

    So the founding fathers were not Christian?

    Hey, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn!

  • @Tito, thanks for responding to me and Reg. Kudos for the inclusive debate. I’m off my high horse now, so while I urge you to reconsider your stance on LD (CYE is a brilliant show, even if it .. missed .. with that joke), I’m not going to engage in polemics. Cheers.

  • Yes, the Declaration of Independence mentions god. But it’s not a legal document and does not represent the law of the nation. That came later, in the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence simply declared America’s separation from British rule. It is NOT the law of the land, and since we have been separate from Britain for over two hundred years, it’s not exactly a document of our time. While it mentions god, it also states, “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.” America has more than thirteen states now, so it’s not even accurate anymore. While it is a historical document of enormous significance, it is not a legal document — that came LATER. It says absolutely NOTHING about our rights being secured by Christianity and does not mention Christianity at all. It refers to “the opinions of MANKIND” and states that “governments are instituted among MEN.” It refers to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” which is a reflection of DEISM or even PANTHEISM, which most definitely are NOT Christian. Mention pantheism to a Christian and if you’re lucky enough to be speaking to a Christian who even knows what the word means, get ready for a lecture about its evils. Later, the Constitution — which DOES NOT mention god (a point Christians would like you to ignore) — set up the law of the land. America’s founding fathers clearly intended this to be a nation DIVORCED from religion. Over the years, Christians have tried to have their way with the forefathers’ intentions, twisting and raping their words. It continues to this day.
    When the United States began to involve itself in foreign affairs, it became necessary to make sure that other countries — particularly those that were, unlike America, RULED by religion — understood that this was NOT a religious nation but a SECULAR government. To this end, very explicit reference was made to this in the Treaty of Tripoli in the 1790s to make it CLEAR that the United States was NOT a Christian nation. From the Treaty of Tripoli:
    “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
    A statement on the document by President John Adams includes the following:
    “And to the End that the said Treaty may be observed, and performed with good Faith on the part of the United States, I have ordered the premises to be made public; And I do hereby enjoin and require all persons bearing office civil or military within the United States, and all other citizens or inhabitants thereof, faithfully to observe and fulfill the said Treaty and every clause and article thereof.”
    In May of 1797, the treaty was read aloud in full on the Senate floor, and on June 7, ratification of the treaty was unanimously approved, with 23 of the 37 sitting senators present.
    The 7th Amendment of the Constitution refers to “the common law,” which Christians often claim is derived from the foundation of Christianity. Using various quotes, including some from Supreme Court Justices, they claim that Christianity was part of the laws of England. This is still more self-serving nonsense.
    In a February 10, 1814 letter to Thomas Cooper, Thomas Jefferson discussed the history of common law as follows:
    “For we know that the common law is that system of law which was introduced by the Saxons on their settlement in England, and altered from time to time by proper legislative authority from that time to the date of Magna Charta, which terminates the period of the common law. … This settlement took place about the middle of the fifth century. But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first Christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686. Here then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it.”
    ” … if any one chooses to build a doctrine on any law of that period, supposed to have been lost, it is incumbent on him to prove it to have existed, and what were its contents. These were so far alterations of the common law, and became themselves a part of it. But none of these adopt Christianity as a part of the common law. If, therefore, from the settlement of the Saxons to the introduction of Christianity among them, that system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians, and if, having their laws from that period to the close of the common law, we are all able to find among them no such act of adoption, we may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
    In the same letter, Jefferson explains how the confusion over Christianity came about. It was a misinterpretation of a Latin term by Prisot, “ancien scripture.” It means “ancient scripture” but was misinterpreted to mean “holy scripture.” As a result, many WRONGLY believed that the common law came from the bible. It did not. Jefferson writes:
    “And Blackstone repeats, in the words of Sir Matthew Hale, that ‘Christianity is part of the laws of England,’ citing Ventris and Strange ubi surpa. 4. Blackst. 59. Lord Mansfield qualifies it a little by saying that ‘The essential principles of revealed religion are part of the common law.’ In the case of the Chamberlain of London v. Evans, 1767. But he cites no authority, and leaves us at our peril to find out what, in the opinion of the judge, and according to the measure of his foot or his faith, are those essential principles of revealed religion obligatory on us as a part of the common law. Thus we find this string of authorities, when examined to the beginning, all hanging on the same hook, a perverted expression of Priscot’s, or on one another, or nobody.”
    Christians claim that Jefferson was a Christian, but his own words do not reflect this. Much of this comes from the fact that when Christians see the word “god,” they instantly think it refers to THEIR god. In fact, the word “god” has been used with several meanings over time, like “nature,” or a general reference to the supernatural. Jefferson was quite skeptical and fond of science. He rejected Christianity’s mysticism and superstion to such an extent that he compiled what has come to be called The Jefferson Bible. He edited the gospels, removing all of Christ’s miracles and all reference to the supernatural, leaving only what he saw as Christ’s moral philosophy. Here are some quotes from Thomas Jefferson on religion and Christianity:
    “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
    “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;’ the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”
    -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
    “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
    “I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshiped by many who think themselves Christians.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 — This was in response to a letter Price had written to Jefferson on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion, in which Price had written, “Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?”
    “They (the clergy) believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.”
    — Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800
    “The whole history of these books (the Gospels) is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814
    “If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? … Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814
    “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814
    “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 30 July, 1816
    “You say you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ezra Stiles Ely, June 25, 1819
    “My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest. The artificial structures they have built on the purest of all moral systems, for the purpose of deriving from it pence and power, revolts those who think for themselves, and who read in that system only what is really there.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Mrs. Samuel H. Smith, August, 6, 1816
    “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him (Jesus) by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, April 13, 1820
    “Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.”
    — Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, 1822.
    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823
    There are more, but I think I’ve made my point. When Christians say Jefferson was a Christian, they are either ignorant or lying. And Jefferson is only ONE of the forefathers. There is overwhelming evidence that America’s founders were not unanimously Christian, and Christianity had absolutely nothing to do with the founding of this nation.
    The Christians fighting for prayer in government and public schools — and doing so AGAINST the teachings of Jesus Christ — really aren’t interested in prayer. That is only one step in a greater effort. They want nothing less than to overthrow this country, to make it a Christian nation with Christian rule. To do this, they must undercut and eventually abandon the Constitution. To stop this, it is vital that we all know as much as we can of the TRUTH about this country’s history, its founders, and their intentions. Christians have been fooled by these falsehoods because of their own ignorance and willingness to believe whatever their religious leaders tell them. Don’t let them fool YOU because of yours. Educate yourself. And when you hear these lies about the United States, loudly denounce them. If you don’t and if the Christians have their way, this will no longer be the United States of America that our founding fathers created.

  • Karen L.

    For your information, it was not the scientific theories of Galileo that were found heretical (in fact, many Jesuit scientists at the time held to similar notions and even subscribed to virtually the same ideas which were, in fact, published with expressed approval of the Pope himself); rather, it was Galileo’s stubborn insistance that the foundation of Catholic theology itself be compromised simply at the behest of his own personal theological leanings.

    What goes unmentioned is that beginning in the Middle Ages, the Church was supporting research and even building observatories in the towers of well-sited churches. These facilities were made available to astronomers like Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo. Nor did the controversy over Galileo stifle scientific inquiry. “The fact is, Catholic scientists were essentially permitted to carry on their research unhindered as long as they treated the motion of the earth as a hypothesis,” as indeed it was at the time.

    Heck, it was the Catholic Church herself which founded the Linceorum Academia (i.e., the Academy of the Sciences) in 1603. Indeed, if anything, the conflict between evolutionary science and creationism in the United States comes from the Protestant tradition, not the Catholic one.

    It is a relatively simple matter to show that many great scientists, like Louis Pasteur, have been Catholic. Much more revealing, however, is the surprising number of Catholic churchmen, priests in particular, whose scientific work has been so extensive and significant. At the forefront were the Jesuits, who led the way in many fields and “so dominated the field of seismology that it became known as ‘the Jesuit science.’” One of the Jesuit-scientists highlighted by the author is Father Roger Boscovich (1711-1787) who won praise throughout Europe for his advances in astronomy, natural science and the beginnings of atomic theory.

    “The Big Bang” theory itself pertaining to the notion that the universe originated in an extremely dense and hot space and expanded was, in fact, developed by a Belgian priest?

    Here are other examples of scientists who were themselves members of the Catholic clergy:
    1. Mendel, a monk, who first established the laws of heredity.
    2. Copernicus, a priest, who expounded upon the Copernican system.
    3. Steensen, a Bishop, who became the father of geology.
    4. Regiomontanus, a Bishop and Papal astronomer who became the father of modern astronomy.
    5. Theodoric, a Bishop, who discovered anesthesia in the 13th century.
    6. Kircher, a priest, who made the first definite statement of the germ theory of disease.
    7. Cassiodorus, a priest, who invented the watch.
    8. Picard, a priest, who became the first to measure accurately a degree of the meridian.

    Here is a list of just some Catholic scientists:

    Algue, a priest, invented the barocyclonometer, to detect approach of cyclones.

    Ampere, the founder of the science of electrodynamics and investigator of the laws of electromagnetism.

    Becquerel, Antoine Cesar, the founder of electrochemistry.

    Becquerel, Antoine Henri, the discoverer of radioactivity.

    Binet, mathematician and astronomer, who set forth the principle, “Binet’s Theorem.”

    Braille, who invented the Braille system for the blind.

    Buffon, who wrote the first work on natural history.

    Carrell, the Nobel prize winner in medicine and physiology, is renowned for his work in surgical technique.

    Caesalpinus, a Papal physician — the first to construct a system of botany.

    Cassiodorus, a priest, who invented the watch.

    Columbo discovered the pulmonary circulation of the blood.

    Copernicus, a priest, who expounded the Copernican system.

    Coulomb established the fundamental laws of static electricity.

    De Chauliac, a Papal physician — the father of modern surgery and hospitals.

    De Vico, a priest, discovered six comets.

    Descartes, who founded analytical geometry.

    Dumas, who invented a method of ascertaining vapor densities.

    Endlicher, botanist and historian, who established a new system of classifying plants.

    Eustachius, for whom the Eustachian tube was named, who became one of the founders of modern anatomy.

    Fabricius, who discovered the valvular system of the veins.

    Fallopius, who was the eminent physiologist from/for whom the Fallopian tube was named.

    Fizeau, the first to determine experimentally the velocity of light.

    Foucault, who invented the first practical electric arc lamp; he refuted the corpuscular theory of light; he invented the gyroscope.

    Fraunhofer, the initiator of spectrum analysis; he established laws of diffraction.

    Fresnel, who contributed more to the science of optics than any other man.

    Galilei, a great astronomer, is the father of experimental science.

    Galvani, one of the pioneers of electricity, was also an anatomist and physiologist.

    Gioja, father of scientific navigation, invented the mariner’s compass.

    Gramme, who invented the Gramme dynamo.

    Guttenberg, who invented printing.

    Herzog, who discovered a cure for infantile paralysis.

    Holland, who invented the first practical sub marine.

    Kircher, a priest, who made the first definite statement of the germ theory of disease.

    Laennec, who invented the stethoscope.

    Lancist, a Papal physician — the father of clinical medicine.

    Latreille, the pioneer in entomology.

    Lavoisier, the Father of Modern Chemistry.

    Leverrier, the discoverer of the planet Neptune.

    Lully, who is said to have been the first to employ chemical symbols.

    Malpighi, a Papal physician, himself a botanist, became the father of comparative physiology.

    Marconi’s place in radio remains unsurpassed.

    Mariotte, who discovered Mariotte’s law of gases.

    Mendel, a monk, the first to establish the laws of heredity.

    Morgagni, founder of modern pathology; made important studies in aneurisms.

    Muller was the greatest biologist of the 19th century, founder of modern physiology.

    Pashcal demonstrated practically that a column of air has weight.

    Pasteur, called the “Father of Bacteriology,” and inventor of bio-therapeutics, was the leading scientist of the 19th century.

    Picard, a priest, who became the first to measure accurately a degree of the meridian.

    Regiomontanus, a Bishop and Papal astronomer, who became the father of modern astronomy.

    Scheiner, a priest, who invented the pantograph and made a telescope that permitted the first systematic investigation of sun spots.

    Secchi, who invented the meteorograph.

    Steensen, a Bishop, who became the father of geology.

    Theodoric, a Bishop, who discovered anesthesia in the 13th century.

    Torricelli, who invented the barometer.

    Vesalius, the founder of modern anatomical science.

    Volta, who invented the first complete galvanic battery; the “volt” is named after him.

    Other scientists: Agricola, Albertus Magnus, Bacon, Bartholomeus, Bayma, Beccaria, Behalm, Bernard, Biondo, Biot, Bolzano, Borrus, Boscovitch, Bosio, Bourgeois, Branly, Caldani, Cambou, Camel, Cardan, Carnoy, Cassini, Cauchy, Cavaliere, Caxton, Champollion, Chevreul, Clavius, De Rossi, Divisch, Dulong, Dwight, Eckhel, Epee, Fabre, Fabri, Faye, Ferrari, Gassendi, Gay-Lussac, Gordon, Grimaldi, Hauy, Heis, Helmont, Hengler, Heude, Hilgard, Jussieu, Kelly, Lamarck, Laplace, Linacre, Malus, Mersenne, Monge, Muller, Murphy, Murray, Nelston, Nieuwland, Nobili, Nollet, Ortelius, Ozaman, Pelouze, Piazzi, Pitra, Plumier, Pouget, Provancher, Regnault, Riccioli, Sahagun, Santorini, Schwann, Schwarz, Secchi, Semmelweis, Spallanzani, Takamine, Tieffentaller, Toscanelli, Tulasne, Valentine, Vernier, Vieta, Da Vinci, Waldseemuller, Wincklemann, Windle, and a host of others, too many to mention.

  • mohawk:

    You’re going to hurt your back moving that goalpost.

    This is what you originally said:

    “Good people will always do good things, evil people will always do evil things…it takes religion to make good people do evil things.”

    That’s such a monumentally stupid comment I can understand why you’d run away from it. It’s as dumb as saying Hitler was motivated by Islam because he once spoke favorably of its ideals.

    Since you aren’t interested in exerting yourself to read anything that might refute your intensely held precommitments, let me briefly explain Browning’s important book: he studied a reserve police battalion which assisted in the Holocaust in Poland. If memory serves, none of them was a Nazi party member. Instead, they were all comfortably middle class and middle-aged German men, unremarkably so, in fact.

    They killed 38,000 people.

    http://german-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/review_ordinary_men

    Instead of playing the tattered “Hitler was a religious fanatic!” card so beloved of atheists who want to end rational discussion rather than trying it, if you considered basic human history, common sense and experience, you’d understand the following: good men do horrifically evil things for reasons entirely unrelated to religion. As “Ordinary Men” demonstrates, they will do evil things out of a fear of losing face before their comrades. Indoctrination by the state. Peer pressure. Desire to belong/conformism. Fear. Any number of excuses that that have nothing to do with religion. Which the National Socialists weren’t all that big on, as, say, Alfred Delp, Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer would have been happy to point out. Had not the first and third not been executed by the Nazis, that is.

    If you find glib comments like your initial quote to be an agreeable opiate, fine. Just don’t expect to ever be taken seriously by those you savage.

    Nevertheless, keep spewing those talking points cut from the atheist websites (e.g., I doubt you have a copy of Mein Kampf to hand–most people don’t. Even fewer have read the dreadful thing all the way through. I somehow doubt atheist crusaders on the internet are any different).

  • “To stop this, it is vital that we all know as much as we can of the TRUTH about this country’s history, its founders, and their intentions.”

    Historical knowledge is a wonderful thing and it consists of far more than cutting and pasting quotes from atheist websites. For example, Ben Franklin was perhaps the most secular of the Founding Fathers, and yet, according to James Madison he made this statement at the Constitutional Convention:

    “Mr. President

    The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other,”our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes and ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, some we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

    In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. ”Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments be Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

    I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service.”

    By the standards of our time, almost all of the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men. Did they frequently criticize what they considered to be follies of churches? Of course, as we often do on this web site. However, using out of context quotes in an attempt to convince Americans that the Founders were motivated solely by secularism is ludicrous and will only convince atheist true believers.

  • Donald R. McClarey:

    You demonstrate once again a knowledge of American history, which you seem to hold to such an admirably considerable degree.

    I hope that you might consider creating entries at TAC devoted to the same subject as that in your above comments, concerning the fervent religious devotion of our country’s Founding Fathers.

    Even the one you authored concerning John Adams, I found similarly edifying — his own anti-Catholicism notwithstanding.

  • e.,

    So when are you going to put a pic to your avatar?

  • When my avatar puts a pic on me!

    Oh, by the way, now you see the kind of controversy you yourself generated as a direct result of your having made such an entry?

    Kudos for maintaining some semblance of patience, though.

    You and your partner, Matt McDonald, have more patience than I give you guys credit for — well done!

  • Rest assured e, that eventually most of the Founding Fathers and their religious beliefs will receive coverage, usually with some sort of Catholic tie in as I did in regard to John Adams.

  • Awesome! Thanks, Donald!

    You truly are both gentleman & scholar! Looking forward to these!

  • e.,

    You mean by the constant posting of your comments?

    Get off your miniature low horse and put a pic on.

    Or you’ll forever be called a lower case vowel (LCV) by me from now until death.

  • Tito:

    I’ve been called far worse than a “lower case vowel”, so I suppose I should be grateful to you and your friend Matt by sparing me from a fate far worse in both current and previous engagements, however heated they became.

  • I can think of no words except disgust. I find it utterly disgusting.
    I just cancelled my subscription to HBO. I also emailed HBO and explained that my subscription was being cancelled due to the episode of Curb.

    I will continue to Boycott HBO and Time Warner and affiliates. Enough is enough. I think that it is the duty of every Christian to boycott such blasphemy.

    For HBO to counter that it was done in a humorous way is nonsense. I believe that HBO would never have allowed Mr. David to urinate on an atheist symbol.

    I believe in freedom of speech, so there will always be a Mr. David, and many more that are of the same view. The rest of us have the ability tune him out. I will not pay for such garbage. If we shrug our shoulders, we bear the guilt for condoning such action.

  • A Christian: Your sentiments are noble, but what do you mean by “atheist symbol”?

  • How ’bout one of those chrome coelecanths people affix to the rear of their cars, the one’s inscribed with the letters , “DARWIN”?

  • A Christian:

    What a remarkable difference it would make if many Christians behaved as you did here.

    That is, one of the very reasons why, as Tito Taco Man himself suggested in his entry, that Hollywood would not even dare make fun of Islam in a similar manner is because of the effective action (as opposed to futile over-reactions) of Muslims as a collective that would put out such swift opposition that would undoubtedly be fatal to them.

    Christians are rarely capable of doing the same. The most they do, as with the Da Vinci Code, is make loud noise; nothing more.

  • Art–Oh, yeah. Those things.

    You usually see them in ironic juxtaposition with the “Coexist” bumper sticker.

  • Pull your heads out your arses you Philestines. If you don’t like it, or more aptly, don’t understand it, then just simply don’t watch it. I don’t particularly like the things Catholics say, I find them a lot more offensive than you find a little piss on a painting, and thats why I don’t go to church. But I don’t try to stop Catholics from going to church if thats their choice. And that’s because, I’m not an ignorant, arrogant, puritanical asshole.

  • Jon,

    Please no profane language.

    Please read our comments policy: http://the-american-catholic.com/comments-policy/

    We don’t watch it. I’m sure most of us don’t, but we don’t like it when our God is insulted, so we have a right as Americans to voice our opinions.

    If you don’t like it, move to Communist China. I’m sure they welcome your opinion.

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  • Blogging while drunk Jon is never a good idea.

  • “I find them a lot more offensive than you find a little piss on a painting”

    Amazing how atheists have windows unto men’s souls when they don’t actually believe in souls.

  • “Pull your heads out your arses you Philestines. If you don’t like it, or more aptly, don’t understand it, then just simply don’t watch it. I don’t particularly like the things Catholics say, I find them a lot more offensive than you find a little piss on a painting, and thats why I don’t go to church. But I don’t try to stop Catholics from going to church if thats their choice. And that’s because, I’m not an ignorant, arrogant, puritanical asshole.”

    What’s so ironic, Jon, is that your very comments actually prove that you’re in fact such “an ignorant, arrogant, puritanical asshole”.

    That is, “[i]f you don’t like it, or more aptly, don’t understand it”, then why for heaven’s sake did you go so far as to visit a “Catholic” website in order to offend Catholics, whose Catholic religion you obviously have no understanding of?

    Why don’t you take your own advice and just skip watching/visiting Catholic websites?

  • Tito?

    Moderation? Why?

  • ?

    You’re not on moderation.

    You were on it for an hour a long time ago, but not anymore. I double checked.

  • e. the moderation system seems to have gone rogue today, as I have been pulling comments out of moderation all morning. Hopefully wordpress will cure the glitch that is causing this.

  • JEWS WHO HATE CHRISTIANS

    Jewish hate is as old as some ancient Hebrew prophets.
    Speaking of anti-Semitism, it’s Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who’ve gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
    Wrong! It’s the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that’ll outdo even Hitler’s by stating that “Judah hath dealt treacherously” and “the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this” and asks “Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?”
    Haven’t evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and persons perceived to be Jewish? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin and Larry David) against Sarah Palin and other Christians, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned the continuing “crucifixion” of Christians and even their Leader!
    While David, Sandra, Kathy and Larry are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!
    (For even more stunning information, visit MSN and type in “Separation of Raunch and State,” “Michael the Narc-Angel,” “Bible Verses Obama Avoids” and “The Earliest Hate Criminals” to learn even more about Jewish connections!)

  • Roma,

    As a Catholic, we tend not to dwell on prophecy as much as our Protestant brothers and sisters.

    But it’s a stretch to say that Larry David’s misguided attacks on the Catholic faith would cause Catholics to attack Israel.

    If there is any action, Catholics tend to switch away from his show or even cancel subscriptions to HBO. But that’s about it. Oh, and complain on websites such as this.

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  • “If you don’t like it, move to Communist China. I’m sure they welcome your opinion.”

    Tito, you are an intolerable, racist disgrace to your own religion which is already so disgraceful that people find it comical to piss on your savior for cheap entertainment value. Oh, so valiant the defender of Catholics and Jesus that thou purifies the realm of the cyber-blog in the name of the Lord. Don’t you see that David does this stuff to get a rise out of you people. Your religious conservatism (what you call “faith”) binds you to a realm of predictability, and you are doomed to react with puppet like instincts to offenses that don’t directly effect you. If you truly were spiritually comfortable, why would you care what a fictitious character does on a fictional program. Instead you comfort yourself with the blanket of Catholicism and the knowledge that you “fit in”, attempting to make narrow-minded fools out of those who reasonably object to such hypocrisy as Christianity.

  • Xavier,

    Listen to your logic…

    I’m intolerable for voicing my defense of my faith, but Larry David is not intolerant because he relieves himself on God?

    You just undermined your own argument.

  • “…attempting to make narrow-minded fools out of those who reasonably object to such hypocrisy as Christianity.”

    Narrow-minded fools, so-implied, are those who are intolerant of other people’s perspectives; thus, you have demonstrated yourself not only as a prime example of such but also an apparantly unintelligent arse whose cognitive deficiencies are so severe that s/he actually refutes his/herself in the very comments s/he presents. Well done.

    “…who reasonably object…”

    Nice demonstration of petitio principii; perhaps you might first present an argument for why their objection was reasonable as opposed to your demanding we concede to your rather absurd assertion here.

  • “I’m intolerable for voicing my defense of my faith, but Larry David is not intolerant because he relieves himself on God?”

    What? When did I defend Larry David? I never said he wasn’t intolerant; the man is as rigid and prone to bigotry as you. Actually, I bet you’d make good friends given your shared personality defects. My point had less to do with David and more to do with your proclaimation “If you don’t like it, move to Communist China. I’m sure they welcome your opinion.” That statement is NOT the same as voicing defense of your faith. And listen to YOUR logic— just because David has a view in opposition to yours does NOT instantly validate your argument. There you go again being so incredibly narrow-minded…

    And to e.:

    You’re entirely correct— I do stand intolerant of those who are intolerable, thanks for your reiteration of my argument; you seemed to have managed to comprehend the main idea I conveyed.

    And here is the presentation of the argument I neglected to cover in detail (I thought it quite obvious) to which all are free to reasonably object:

    Acceptance of God/Jesus via Catholicism is essential to obtain salvation when you pass on.

    Any competent individual thinking with their own free will (this excludes you two) is reasonable in thinking the above is completely ludicrous, highly offensive to modern society, and an enormous waste of time.

    *How am I doin’ boys? Workin’ towards my second strike or what!

  • X,

    You did defend Larry David when you compared my ‘intolerant’ beliefs to Larry David relieving himself. Reread what you wrote, you made a direct reference to my defense:

    Tito, you are an intolerable, racist disgrace to your own religion which is already so disgraceful that people find it comical to piss on your savior for cheap entertainment value.

    So because I am intolerant that is why Larry David relieved himself?

    Again, you’re having problems with logic.

  • You are intolerant, yes. But your religion is intolerant whether or not you exist, whether or not people worship it, whether or not people pay it any mind. Do you see the non-exclusive relationship I presumed was already obvious? It is not simply because your religion is intolerant that David relieved himself on your savior’s likeness, but because it represents little to no value to his fictional character. Here, I’ll settle this once and for all in a way that simultaneously clears David’s actions and relieves your stress: Curb Your Enthusiasm isn’t real. It’s a scripted (often improvised) television program that is set in a world similar to our reality, but slightly off-kilter. David isn’t really playing himself, the woman portraying his wife on the program is not his real-life wife (although now ex-wife). The events, although inspired by reality, never actually occurred. Possibly in this Jewish ethnocentric (though self-deprecating) fictional land called “Hollywood,” Jesus doesn’t represent what he does in our reality. Honestly, I can’t argue any longer it’s been fun but I’ll have to throw in the towel and begin packing for communist China, comrade. Keep fighting the good fight Tito. I hope we can remain friends, nay Brothers!

  • So in the case of Tito, you hurl the absurd accusation of his being intolerant all the while demonstrating the very same kind of intolerance you purportedly detested in Tito?

    Also, you yet again wish us to concede to your assertion that it is “reasonable” for modern society to object Catholicism; yet, you’ve made no argument whatsoever as to why such a thing is “reasonable” other than to demonstrate for the nth time the very extent of not only your ineptitude in conducting (let alone, formulating) arguments but also the sheer magnitude of your own stupidity.

    Thus, any further communication with you (unless, of course, you finally decide to demonstrate some aspect of human rationality and not simply render yet again a superb immitation of the beast) would be tremendously futile.

  • Xanadu/Xavier,

    That was a good comment up until the very last sentence.

    There’s no need for that type of juvenile behavior.

    Please be charitable when engaging in dialogue.

    Your brother in Christ,

    Tito

  • I’m sorry but I hear almost every religion being made fun of these days. They weren’t targeting the Catholics. It’s a joke that makes people laugh and by making it a controversial joke, it was more popular.

Magnificent

Monday, October 26, AD 2009

The song is called Magnificent by the musical group U2.  It was a minor hit in both the United Kingdom and the United States in A.D. 2009 (and a major hit in Greece).

Some entrepreneurial YouTuber recreated the music video and turned it into a pretty decent contemporary ‘Christian’ music video.  The music video now celebrates the Triune God, the Eucharist, of course the love of God all coupled within a strong Pro-Life message.  There’s even a guest appearance of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI!

(Biretta Tip: Meg)

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8 Responses to Magnificent

  • Thanks Tito, that was awesome.

    I suspect a couple of scenes from Godzone.

    The budding tree fern – known as pikopiko – from which the ensignia, the koru, is designed – the ensignia on Air New Zealand aircraft, amonst other things.
    And secondly, the huge tree. I think it is a photo of our two thousand year old kauri tree – known to the maori as Tanemahuta – the “god” – or old man , of the forest, situated in the Waiapu forest in Northland, NZ. This tree was just a seedling when Christ was born.
    Thanks.

  • Don the Kiwi,

    Thanks for explaining some of those scenes from the music video.

    You live in a beautiful country.

    By the way the name of the Waiapu forest is very similar to Hawaiian. Are Maori of Polynesian descent? I grew up in Hawaii and I recognize the word structure of many of the Maori words and they are strikingly similar to Hawaiian!

  • Isn’t Bono, U2’s lead singer, Catholic?

    I have caught him several times wearing a rosary around his neck during a concert or other public performance.

  • Hi Tito.

    Yes, Maori are Polynesian. They call themselves “Te Maori” which simply means “the people”.
    Go to Wikipedia or google, insert “Polynesian Triangle”. This is a vast area of the Pacific, drawing lines from NZ in the Sth. west, to Hawaii in the North, and Easter Island in the Sth.East. Maori populated all these islands, and those in between – Tonga, Saomoa,Cook Is., Tahiti etc. They were amazing navigators. NZ was settled by maori from around the 8th century AD, in large ocean going canoes – two lashed together forming catamarans – the bulk of them arrived in 12th and 13th centuries.
    e.g. the Takatimu canoe – or “waka” the maori word – which landed here at Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty, left Takatimu beach on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, probably in the 12th.century. A young maori guy who worked for me, his tribe have in their verbal history the canoe leaving Takatimu beach. About ten years ago he went over to Rarotonga – the people there (who also call themselves “Te Maori”) recounted virtually the same story in their verbal history. He met all his relatives. Maori have a strong family association – they know their family history – or “whakapapa” – very well ; the old ones teach it to the young ones still. Maori culture is very strong and has undergone a revival over the past 50 years, to the extent that now, we use the maori language in some of our prayers at Mass – especially the Sign of the Cross.
    I was in Hawaii in 2002 – spent a week on Oahu, mainly in Honolulu. I also noticed the similarity in the languages. Its interesting, that before Europeans “discovered” the Pacific, a maori from NZ could have gone to Tahiti (whence Hawaii was populated) or Hawaii, and would have been understood. (provided they didn’t eat him first 😉

  • Not sure about the accuracy, but I read somewhere this summer that “Magnificent” is based on the Magnificat…sure can make the heart swell the same way!

  • I was wondering if it was a play on words done by the songwriter regarding Magnificat and Magnificent.

  • It was a minor hit in both the United Kingdom and the United States in A.D. 2009 (and a major hit in Greece).

    Your tone here suggests that you are now approaching blogging as a sort of time capsule, speaking to aliens from the future. Why?

  • Michael,

    Illegal or legal aliens?

Chivalry: A Personal Definition

Sunday, October 25, AD 2009

Chivalry to me is the call for men/boys to respect women/girls even if they apparently don’t respect themselves, or even aggressively market themselves as mere sex objects. The visual hardwiring for males is tough to short-circuit since it is there for some very excellent reasons- but a boy in-training to become a good man, must develop the capacity to say “No” the same as for the girls- and he must learn to divert his eyes rather than feasting on the nearly ubiquitous female forms in various stages of undress parading by our senses. It is no wonder that St.Paul said it was better to marry than to burn, and Jesus laid out some very high standards when He said that lusting for a woman in your mind was adultery- pretty clear advice from someone whose opinions form my own.

I know that girls who don’t have close and affectionate relationships with their own fathers will act out sexually at earlier ages to try to fill in a spiritual hole in their hearts. I hope that with my own girls I can reinforce their beauty and worth in the world by showering them with my attentions, my hugs and kisses, and all the verbal and non-verbal affirmations of their excellence and my love for them- with the added bonus of giving all praise and glory to God for them as gifts to me and their mother and the world. They should never have to feel that they “need” some sexually-charged teen to give them the idea that they are special and deserve physical and spiritual affection from a male in their life. I hope and pray that this gives them some invisible support to make the correct choice to wait until marriage for the very special gift of their physical selves to another.

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6 Responses to Chivalry: A Personal Definition

  • I’m also under the impression that how the father treats his wife affects the perception of young little boys and girls. Especially when they mature themselves, they mimic, imitate, and follow many of the same traits and behaviors their parents act out towards each other when they have spouses of their own.

  • I like your definition, but why do you subjectivize it? Why is it “chivalry … to you”? Why isn’t it just chivalry?

  • Zach-
    Because too many folks have re-defined “chivalry” for their personal use, meaning everything from “oppressing women” through “treat women like smaller, weaker men” and up to more sane definitions.

  • It is a “personal” definition in the sense that I take what I know about chivalry and describe it in my own words and way. Additionally, I add some personal detail by bringing it home to my own relationship with my daughters- so I am not saying that one can view chivalry apart from it’s classic definition- but in application to modern society and one’s own family experiences, there is bound to be some individual touches in the description of one’s personal definition.

  • “Chivalry to me is the call for men/boys to respect women/girls even if they apparently don’t respect themselves…”–Tim Shipe

    …or men and boys.

    Thanks, Mr. Shipe, for re-affirming that the expression “male chivalry” is redundant. And oh, does a female counterpart to chivalry even exist?

  • I think it’d be “polite.” Possibly “being a lady” or “decent.”

    I can think of a lot of examples of things that violate it– from false rape accusations through chewing someone out for holding the door, all the way up to demanding concessions for being female while demanding that everyone ignore that fact….

Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, Have Mercy on Me

Sunday, October 25, AD 2009

Today is the feast day of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 25, 1970.  These very brave men and women were martyred for the True Faith in England and Wales between 1535 and 1679, and they are representative of hundreds of Catholics in these countries who went to their death rather than to renounce their Catholicism.

John Pridmore, a reformed gangster from England, talks elquently about Saint Margaret Clitherow in the above video, and her life is typical of these brave champions of Christ.

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2 Responses to Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, Have Mercy on Me

  • Thanks for this post.
    Interesting that you should post this about St.Margaret Clitherow, Don.
    An ancestor of mine through my mother’s family line, by name William Nicholson (1816 – 1888) wrote a book about her. Some of our Nicholson relatives, who live I think in Portland, Oregon, researched and wrote a Nicholson Family Anthology back in the 1960’s and 70’s.

    I quote sections from this anthology.

    “William Nicholson studied the law, probably at his father’s office, and for a time followed the profession of solicitor in Warrington. The main direction of his contemplations, however, seem to have centred about religious thought. Like other menbers of his family, he was a communicant of the Church of England until about 1848…….
    William Nicholson participated in the Tractarian or Oxford Movement in England, and in 1848 or 1849 converted to Roman Catholicism. Dedicating his well-directed energy to his new faith, he rapidly rose to prominence among English Catholics…….most of his descendants became communicants of the Roman Catholic Church.
    For a now unknown reason, William Nicholson became interested in the story of Margaret Clitherow, often referred to as “The Pearl of York”.In the twentieth century she was canonised a saint. Born about 1556, Margaret (Middleton) Clitherow converted to Catholicism after her marriage to John Clitherow, who was a protestant, but from a Catholic family. She soon became an outspoken Catholic in York, providing for Catholic educators for her children and giving shelter to priests. Disturbed by the persistence of Catholicism in Yorkshire, the English government attempted to eradicate the faith by taking strong measures against English Catholics. On 25th March 1586 Margaret Clitherow was martyred in this purge.
    Her confessor John Mush wrote a contemporary memoir. The York Bar Convent obtained a copy of a manuscript made by Robert Setgrave in 1654 of John Mush’s work. Using this manuscript William Nicholson edited the work and published for the first time from a manuscript “The Life and Death of Margaret Clitherow, the Martyr of York.” The 215 page work was printed by Richardson & Son in London in 1849. The work was dedicated to the Earl of Shrewsbury, a leading Catholic layman of the time, with a letter of approbation from Bishop William Bewrnard Ullathorne, who worked indefatigably to restor Roman Catholicism as a prominent Church in England.”

    Thus endeth the lesson 🙂

    My mother has had a devotion to St.Margaret Clitherow for as long as I can remember, and it is from this family line that we are Catholic.

    Thanks.

  • It is truly a small world Don! Saint Margaret Clitherow is an example of Catholic courage and fortitude for us all.

Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ

Thursday, August 6, AD 2009

The Transfiguration of the Lord can sound embarrassingly magical. Jesus goes up onto a mountain and his clothes become dazzlingly white. Prophets appear and talk to him. And then it is all over and Jesus tells his disciples to say nothing.

We should hold on to the absurdity of the incident. There is simply no reason for all this to have happened. In particular, there is no reason to put it into a gospel – the evangelist makes no capital out of it, it is simply there.

And this is the strength of the Transfiguration as an historical incident. There is no reason for anyone to have invented it. It is not central to the Christian case. It is not used to win arguments. There is only one reason to put it into the Gospel, and that is because it happened. It is one of those cases of the evangelists writing things down without knowing why they were important, and their very puzzlement is what makes the story so convincing.

Why, then, did it happen? Surely so that we could see and understand that Jesus is at once one of the prophets and the one that was prophesied by them; and that he is God, and lives for all eternity in a blaze of dazzling and unapproachable light.

The true miracle of the Transfiguration is not the shining face or the white garments, but the fact that for the rest of the time Jesus hid his glory so well.

[Reflection courtesy of Universalis.com]

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5 Responses to Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ

  • Interesting analysis.

    I certainly agree as to the lack of reason why the Transfiguration was written down.

    I am uncertain as to the reason why. This is somewhat of a good explanation, but I think I may have to ask a Theology professor for a better answer.

  • The transfiguration was a story that I’ve marveled at from the time my father read it to me as a little kid. The experience of Peter, James and John — as believing Jews — to see their rabbi with none other than Moses and Elijah. The Law and the Prophets. And God himself reiterating his confirmation of Jesus’ identity — how’s that for a validation?

    And yet, it’s the kind of story that — well, you can just imagine the incredulous reactions they’d receive if they actually attempted to convey to their fellow disciples what they had experienced on that mountain. (Imagine if your co-worker turned to you and started relating this experience).

    Little wonder, then, Jesus told them to keep quiet?

    As the commentator notes, it’s the eyewitnesses’ “very puzzlement is what makes the story so convincing.” And likewise, it is in the historical event of the Resurrection that the theological meaning emerges and comes into focus. You can imagine, again, how Peter, James and John might have reflected back on this experience — perceiving it with new eyes.

    From the Catechism:

    555 For a moment Jesus discloses his divine glory, confirming Peter’s confession. He also reveals that he will have to go by the way of the cross at Jerusalem in order to “enter into his glory”. (Lk 24:26) Moses and Elijah had seen God’s glory on the Mountain; the Law and the Prophets had announced the Messiah’s sufferings. (Cf. Lk 24:27) Christ’s Passion is the will of the Father: the Son acts as God’s servant; (Cf. Isa 42:1) the cloud indicates the presence of the Holy Spirit. “The whole Trinity appeared: the Father in the voice; the Son in the man; the Spirit in the shining cloud.” [ St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 45, 4, ad 2.]

    You were transfigured on the mountain, and your disciples, as much as they were capable of it, beheld your glory, O Christ our God, so that when they should see you crucified they would understand that your Passion was voluntary, and proclaim to the world that you truly are the splendor of the Father. [Byzantine Liturgy, Feast of the Transfiguration, Kontakion.]

    568 Christ’s Transfiguration aims at strengthening the apostles’ faith in anticipation of his Passion: the ascent on to the “high mountain” prepares for the ascent to Calvary. Christ, Head of the Church, manifests what his Body contains and radiates in the sacraments: “the hope of glory” (Col 1:27; cf.: St. Leo the Great, Sermo 51, 3: PL 54, 310C).

    It is a wonderous story. And to consider that it is true

  • I’m in agreement with you to the truth of the story.

    It’s an incredible story.

    Somewhat akin to St. Joseph harboring the incredible secret of the child Jesus without so much of a simple miracle, yet he kept his silence in quiet dignity with barely a mention.

    Both of these stories are part of the many mysteries that brings me to my knees in complete humility and wonderment.

  • The Transfiguration is our glimpse of Jesus as He will appear in Heaven, and, like the Apostles, I think here on Earth we can only understand a small portion of what occurred.

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The Greatest in the Kingdom

Friday, June 26, AD 2009

“At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, ‘Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.'” (Matthew 18:1-6)

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Grassroots Push for Democrats for Life

Sunday, June 21, AD 2009

Here is a blog I wrote for fladems4life.org- this is the website for Florida Democrats for Life organization- If you are a Democrat and pro-life you should seriously consider joining the National and State chapters for Democrats for Life. There is a lot of freedom for you to bring your ideals and ideas into these growing organizations. I believe it is mostly a waste of time trying to turn Democrats into Republicans or vice versa- there is a philosophy of governance that pulls deeper than individual issues- even big issues like abortion.

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30 Responses to Grassroots Push for Democrats for Life

  • Tim,

    As always, we are in agreement. Though lately I have been wondering if perhpas, as well, conservatives might be won over to the Catholic economic and political perspective.

    Perhaps we need a movement on both sides of the spectrum – one which encourages Democrats to accept pro-life, pro-family values, and one which encourages Republicans to embrace new and better economic ideas. Then we might meet in the middle and shift the whole center of gravity, away from liberalism in its economic and cultural forms, and towards a truly communitarian vision in which the state plays a supporting role (as opposed to no role at all, or too great a role).

  • I somehow found my way here after reading an article about another Christian pro-test about something irrelevant to the mainstream. My instinct is to not waste my time on this, but here it is…STOP MAKING DEMOCRATS OUT TO BE ANTI-FAMILY…just some of us believe that government has NO PLACE IN A WOMAN’S UTERUS…and certainly some middle aged, middle income white MAN has no business pushing for legislation that effect women…pro-choice is not the same thing as pro-abortion. Everyone wants less abortions happening. Only the Catholics also want no birth control, no sex education…gosh, that will work well for preventing unwanted pregnancies…and “family values?”…look at the personal lives of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Riley, Gingrich, the list goes on…hypocrites on ‘family values.’ I teach Sunday school, I pray and I am curious about my faith…but I will be damned to allow the religious right to continue to make abortion a political issue. Keep the church out of my government and I will keep the government out of my church. The Catholic church (and many Catholics) scare me more then any other religious group. So please, do not try to patronize Democrats with this issue. We know the truth…Republicans use it to get single issue voters…it is highly effective. Let the Democrats keep fighting for urgent things that effect the already living…things like energy efficiency, global warming, poverty, urban plight, labor, and health care…

  • Pro-Family Democrat,

    You have no right to tell us what we can and cannot do as Catholics we have freedom of speech.

    You confuse establishing the Church as the official church of the United States to Catholics speaking up about their values. Just as you speak up about your right to kill children in the womb.

  • Tito…

    Again, this time slower for you…no one here is pro “killing children in the womb”….(but those are choice emotional words, well done)…I am not pro-abortion…a concept that seems to be void to most ‘pro-lifers’…if you all would slightly bend to include PREVENTION into your cause we could probably work for a common good…but you are limited in your fight.

    Again…keep your church out of my government and I will keep the government out of your church…you can’t have to both ways. You should be very scared to continue to blur the lines…church-led government like Iran…or Government led church, like Hitler’s Germany and cold war Eastern Europe…are you really wanting to be like that?

  • Joe,

    Yea- it’s strange fighting against sexual liberalism and economic neo-liberalism simultaneously- it puts you on the ‘outs’ with both major political forces in this country anyway. I was being a little polemical about how it is easier to convert to pro-life than to change party affiliation- it did work that way for me though. Even though I hold firm to being a Democrat and working within that party, I don’t vote for the party so much as the candidate- though there are times when I haven’t done the necessary homework and all I have facing me in the ballot box is a name and a party affiliation- for local elections the abortion issue is pretty moot. But philosophically, I can see the Democratic Party taking abortion out at the national level if it gets it’s act together, and combine that natural law legal move with the necessary social program and safety net investments to make sure women are not going to face undue hardships in seeing their children through to birth at minimum.

    One other side note- I agree with Ralph Nadar about how the Dems have in many ways embraced the Republican neo-liberal economics- though both parties have gone in for dubious massive bail-outs for the large investor class- see Jeff Faux’s book The Global Class War- for info on how Clinton began the sell-out of prior Democratic party inclinations on economics. Just because I see a major role for government in such things as directing economic outcomes- I don’t go in for all of the Greenspan/Bush/Obama bail-outs of dubious banking and investment interests- economics is not a zero-sum game, you don’t just print money up to bail out the big boys- you do have to get resources moving with fixed currency exchanges and investments like the Marshall plan and/or Manhattan Projects for morally positive outcomes. I will post my campaign column on “Common good, Common-sense Economics” at a later time.

  • Baby Killing Democrat,

    Your argument sounds like I’m against slavery but I don’t want to push my views of being anti-slavery on others.

    Also I have a right to speak my values, so keep your anti-Catholic views out of the public forum.

    Islam and Catholicism are different. It’s also a straw man argument. You, like many democrats, dwell in relativism and think all religions are the same.

    Just as Hitler came to power pushing socialism, Obama is very similar. Just as Hitler, Obama is a great public speaker. Just like Hitler’s thugs, ACORN rigged the votes in strategic states. Just like the Brownshirts (who were militant homosexuals) the Black Panthers intimidated voterr. (two can play the “Hitler-card”).

    When you start drawing analogies such as you have, you know you’re losing the argument.

    If you want to prevent the killing of innocent children in the womb, then outlaw it.

  • Tito,

    your last rant is what makes me think you all are loony…just more proof…so cool, thanks…

    and when you put Acorn, Obama, Hitler and what have into your analogy…your not just losing an argument…your losing your mind.

    My guess is..it’s been awhile since you have been laid…homophobic AND a conspiracy theorist…mix in neo-nazi pro-lifer…been awhile since you had a date I bet.

    You keep on that crusade of yours…good luck. hahaha…

    I need to go wake my baby from his nap…and go meet my family at the pool for some family time…that crazy thing that us anti family Democrats writhe from…hahahaha

    you see, freak? I didn’t “kill my babies”….I just waited to have them when I was ready…thanks to being educated and informed about how babies are made…

    may the Dear Lord forgive you for being such an intolerant and bigoted ass…

  • oh one more thing Tito

    “If you want to prevent the killing of innocent children in the womb, then outlaw it”

    you are so sadly misinformed and ignorant…wow.

    We should do this with so many things…let’s start with murder. That should be illegal…then it would finally not be a problem…drunk driving, that’s another one…mmmm….we are on to something here, Tito!…how about drug use? Excellent…that IS a pesky problem. And while we are at it, how about robbery, home invasion…man, if we just made them illegal…gosh, we should have done this years ago!!!

    Excellent thought process Einstein…

  • While I may not agree with precisely the way Tito addressed you, you did say…

    “just some of us believe that government has NO PLACE IN A WOMAN’S UTERUS”

    And some of us believe that every human being, regardless of his or her location, has a right to exist. It is that simple.

    If I believed that it wasn’t a human life inside a woman’s uterus, I wouldn’t care about it. If the unborn human being has no value, then abortion should be legal.

    If the unborn human being does have value, then nothing can justify abortion. It is really that simple. The government has every right to protect human life. Seeing as how 99% of pro-lifers don’t care about the 99% of medical procedures that don’t involve killing a human being, it is simply false to make this a women’s issue.

    Even moreso in that I think men should be held accountable as well. Please don’t make us out to be misogynistic. This is about parental obligation, not women’s rights. No one has a right to neglect, abuse, or murder their child, man or woman.

  • Baby Killing Democrat,

    Odd that you bring up Hitler then mock me for mocking you.

    Again, it is God that you are angry at, you’re just a troll throwing vitriol at anyone that doesn’t adhere to your disordered view on life.

    I’ll pray for you.

  • I have found myself in the Lion’s Den…so I ask you. You middle aged men who fight for the unborn…what have you done to help the BORN? Have you adopted an unwanted child? Do you want to raise a minority child born to a drug addicted mother? Please do, it would make your argument credible. Do you volunteer at county hospitals to rock the newborn, who has been abandoned while it detoxes from meth? Do you work in the foster care system to give those children an equal chance in the world? Do you support social systems that provide a family with the LIFE LONG support they will need? Not short term…”here are some bottles, diapers and a winter coat…good luck.” WHAT DO YOU DO to help those children? Those children born, here and now…breathing, living, suffering, hurting, hungry and unwanted. Do you help them? I’m betting on ‘NO’

    And again I say to you…prevention is the key. Stop thinking abstinence. Get out of the box. I am NOT a sexual libertarian…or whatever you called Democrats…the most offensive, sexually degrading shows I have seen are on FOX…the “values channel.” Republicans, Catholics, Christians, pro-lifers…you do not have the moral authority. I am not a “baby killer” because I want to see prevented pregnancies for women that do not want to yet be mothers.

    You must separate the radical pro-life movement and include prevention and education.

    But if abortion were to be illegal…the Republicans will lose too much of their base…they know it. It will never change. Bush didn’t change a thing…why? Because you all came back and voted for him again.

    Patronizing your vote.

    good luck in your fight to get Dems on board. Single issue voters are pathetic. If they would give up all the important issues we are working on, so they can go hold up a sign and shout at young girls…good riddance…

    I hear the pitter patter of my son’s feet…he wants to join his siblings at the pool…

    Namaste

  • Does pro family include the prenatal?

  • Pro-abort Troll, I have three kids, including an autistic son, so don’t rant to me about the demands of parenthood, my wife and I have lived them. I have been active in the pro-life movement since 1973. For the last decade I have been on the board of the crisis pregnancy center in my county that gives assistance to women dealing with problem pregnancies. I am currently president of the board. Many of these women we help eventually come back to volunteer with our organization to help other women. We also have an outreach to post-abortive women to help them heal from the bitter despair often engendered from a “safe, legal abortion.” In short I have done what I can to help women in bad situations as a result of pregnancy and abortion. Do I have all the answers to the complex social problem of unwanted pregnancies? I do not. But I do know that killing the child is not a solution, and that the law must protect unborn children as it does born children, if we are to have any pretense of being a civilized society that values human life.

  • Pro-Death Democrat,

    No one here made any claims to “Fox” being the values channel. Most of us don’t even watch tv for that matter. We like to read books mostly.

    I am a board member and a volunteer to a crisis pregnancy center and many more other post-natal care facilities. In addition I pray every day for the end of killing babies as well as praying in front of baby killing facilities such as Planned Parenthood.

    I am a young man in my thirties, but I am old relative to the movement since most of my colleagues are toddlers all the way up to college students who pray with me in front of abortion mills, volunteer with many pro-life organizations that helps pregnant moms and abstinence programs.

    I don’t believe in killing innocent unborn babies and will work until my dying days for the end to the mass slaughter of babies, which is the greatest civil rights challenge in our nations history.

  • Wow- I go out for ice cream and the playground with the family and look what happens to my father’s day blog entry!!

    Well all I can say is that while I am a middle-aged man, my chief pro-life teachers in life have been women. I didn’t just become Catholic and then receive my marching orders from the Pope to become anti-abortion. I had enough life experiences to teach me the true nature of abortion to lead me to oppose abortion with or without a religious conversion. As an update, my wife was one who helped me clear the final hurdles about abortion- she is the one who told me that the only women she can understand would still be pro-choice on abortion are women who have not had children. She is the one who has told me before the births of our children, she is the one who made me promise that no matter what goes down, if there comes a point where there is a choice to be made between her life or the baby she has only seen on ultrasound- go with the baby always! Now I know I am only a middle-aged male, but these kind of witnesses from my female wife have made a deep impact. Maybe the claim will be made that my wife is a self-loathing female- well that logic would follow anyone who opposes a U.S. war and speaks out negatively. Maybe only active duty service men and women should be able to participate in the political debates concerning whether the country should go to war or not.

    I’m not buying it. Now I agree with the need for investments in all kinds of pregnant women/children/family social helps, which is why I am pushing for the Pregnant Women Support Act, it deals with a lot of the root causes of abortion- so don’t paint the pro-lifers with too broad of a brush as being insensitive to women and children already born. We may have strong disagreements on the value of contraception, but there are a host of other ways to address many of the same root causes- shall we work together on those, or just continue to issue angry emails and look upon our opposites as pure bad guys. I personally disagree with many things that mainstream liberals and conservatives put forth, but I also find room for common ground, and I am willing to work on that, even as I keep on trucking with my full list of ideals, pushing the system as is my right to do in a free society.

    I’m not sure that non-religious persons would embrace my way of loving the women in my life- but I have a facebook cause entitled “Dads Protecting Daughters” which shows more of the politics of my heartfelt love and devotion to my female children- girls I would die a thousand painful deaths over to save- the content of my love may be in some ways mistaken, but do not mistake my intent- I love the women in my life, and I do not believe that supporting abortion rights is any way to say I love you to any woman. That’s my humble but strong opinion.

  • This guy gives us yet another opportunity to look at how the pro-choice movement makes a complete mockery out of logic.

    “You middle aged men who fight for the unborn…what have you done to help the BORN?”

    Why would this have any bearing on the argument? Something is either true or it is not. What the person proclaiming that truth does on their spare time has no relevance. The answer to the question may well be, ‘absolutely nothing’. So what? Go back to logic 101. 1+1 = 2 even if Hitler says so. The sky is blue even if Stalin says so. Truth claims have to be evaluated independently of the person making the claim.

    “Do you support social systems that provide a family with the LIFE LONG support they will need?”

    I can’t speak for the others, but I do, as a good in itself. But again it is irrelevant. With or without those systems, either abortion is murder or it isn’t. If it is, it is unjustifiable. If it isn’t, then who cares if there is a system in place?

    “And again I say to you…prevention is the key. Stop thinking abstinence. Get out of the box.”

    This is simply not about abstinence. There are plenty of married people having morally licit sexual relations who nonetheless seek out the services of the abortionist. This is about parental obligation. To make it all about sex reduces the unborn child to nothing else but a consequence of sex. It is that, but it is also more. It is a child of two parents and an independent human being.

    That said, birth control does not prevent abortion. It encourages abortion. It creates a mentality and a lifestyle of sex without consequences, but it only has to fail ONCE, people only have to forget to use it ONCE for that false reality to implode. Then people are left completely unprepared for the consequences, and the less prepared people are, the more likely they are to abort.

    “the most offensive, sexually degrading shows I have seen are on FOX…the “values channel.”

    True, but again, irrelevant.

    “I am not a “baby killer” because I want to see prevented pregnancies for women that do not want to yet be mothers.”

    We all know what a pregnancy is, and what you mean by ‘prevented’.

    A woman isn’t pregnant with a kidney or a spleen, but an unborn child, a unique individual with its own genetic code and potential in life. The only way to ‘prevent’ it from being born is to kill it. So, we have a child, and we have killing. Making it sound political or clinical doesn’t change what it is.

  • Tim, as a pro-life Democrat, I obviously agree.

    If I lived in Florida, I would strongly urge you to run for re-election and I would work for your campaign.

    Joe, this is yet another reason as to why we should run on the same ticket. I’d be willing to be the Vice President for 8 years. So that I can succeed you for another 8 and be in the White House for 16 years (diabolical laughter).

  • Normally liberal Democrats are all in favor of protecting groups of people who are seen as vulnerable, powerless, or discriminated against, particularly women and racial minorities. Wouldn’t it be perfectly logical for them to regard the unborn as an oppressed class deserving of protection as well?

    I realize, of course, that the main reason liberals seem to have a blind spot with regard to the unborn is their insistence upon absolute sexual freedom. However, most liberals don’t seem to have a problem restricting the “freedom” of an employer to sexually harass or intimidate workers, or the “freedom” of pedophiles to access child porn, so even they acknowledge that there are SOME limits on sexual freedom.

  • I think “Pro-family Democrat” is the reason many of us see making the Democratic party pro-life as a practical impossibility.

  • Phillip raises an excellent point. I have paid dues to Dems for Life, but even on the local level, pro-life voices are made VERY unwelcome at Democratic Party gatherings. The (God help us) “Pro-family Democrat” types treat respect for life as hate speech; it’s hard to imagine any common ground with them.

  • I am registered as an independent, but I would not have any qualms voting for a pro-life Democrat. I would even volunteer for a pro-life Democrat and actively participate for Democrats for Life.

    In fact I have done those three things in the past, but only at the local level.

    This is only the beginning, but we shouldn’t lose faith. Continue working within the Democratic Party to begin a dialogue and eventually a change from their pro-abortion platform.

    With God all things are possible.

  • Here’s the plan guys- I know that strong Republicans are pretty biased against the idea that Democrats can pull themselves together on Life issues because of the current establishment/activist hostility to traditionally religious worldviews- it is natural to suppose that an organization that you disagree with to the core could ever change on something that is nearest to your heart. But, I think that there is much more positive in the classic Democratic model as Elaine describes above- and also I don’t think that “Pro-Family Democrat” represents the mass of Democratic voters. This is KEY.

    I recommend Mark Stricherz’ book – Why The Democrats Are Blue- I plan on doing a brief sketch of the book for a blog entry in the future. The book depicts how secular liberalism came to dominate the upper reaches of the Party by way of legal strategies internal to the Party as the Party Boss system was challenged- there was enough to justify reform on the old boy network, but of course, the wrong type of folks took advantage and led the Party down the drain.

    I take it as a given that there is a very large untapped “market” among rank and file Dems- the type of people who vote Democratic for economic and other meat and potato reasons, but disagree with varying intensities to the social liberalism that comes with that package. As evidence, look at how many states voted as a majority for Obama but then also voted down gay marriage or voted for trad marriage definitions. And even though african-americans and hispanics voted strongly for obama, there are probable majorities among these folks who would love to support traditional morality candidates- but they haven’t had many opportunities.

    I would say that the strategy of Republican Catholics to just continue casting aspertions on minorities for voting Democratic- as if everyone should just fall in line and become overnight Republicans- that is beyond wishful thinking. The fact that many of us feel that the establishment Republican strategy of having an end game of sending abortion back to state legislatures- is not even a worthy pro-life strategy in the first place, is another point to consider.

    Instead of focusing a lot of energy trying to convert Dems over to Repubs, or Repubs over to Dems, I would rather spend time now building up a network of traditional religious voters within the Democratic fold- among those who are Democratic already for reasons I have spoken of many times before. This is why I am addressing myself primarily to fellow Democrats- it is not very helpful for Republicans to jump in with more negativism about how “hopeless” the Democratic Party is- I get it- but I think both major parties are “hopeless” on paper, but God trumps the paper, and I believe that there is a numbers game that is to the favor of transforming the Democratic and Republican parties to be much much more pro-life if only the sleeping giants of traditional religious folks awaken and assert themselves. My role is to try to help organize that within the Democratic fold. I would suggest that religious Republicans focus more on getting the Republican party to put abortion on a much higher shelf than it has in the past. For example if Bush/Cheney had spent half the energy they devoted to the case for invading Iraq on bully pulpiting and pushing the Republican Congress to educate the American people to the facts of Life beginning at Conception, with legislation being passed saying the same, putting the issue in front of the Supreme Court repeatedly- then I don’t think we would be sitting here looking at a very diminished Republican party today.

    But my job here is not to keep beating up on Republicans, I need to focus on my party, and since I believe only a strong two major party strategy against abortion will do the trick- I believe my mission is good, and not self-delusional. If or when I come to see that I am wrong, I would probably go with trying to form a Natural Law/Common Good Party rather than join a Republican Party where I disagree with their core assumptions about the nature of the role of the political community, which results in my even finding too many serious flaws in their approach to abortion that I couldn’t find any true enthusiasm- even though I do vote Republican sometimes- mostly at the national level where I have to admit that while establishment Republicans are lukewarm on abortion, Democrats have bacome ice cold. If we use an analogy from Scripture where the unborn are unconcerned- I see establishment Republicans as the Pontius Pilates’ trying to wash their hands of abortion by sounding like impartial, unemotional originalist judges, while the establishment Dems are more like the Chief Priests who are very actively stirring up the people against the rights of the unborn. Not a pretty choice to make- with few heroes out there in the mainstream.

  • I notice that Elaine Krewer is the only lady who’s commented here, so I figured I’d put my oar in just so PFD doesn’t get the notion this is entirely a hangout for middle-aged men.

    Middle-aged woman, here. Mom of four. Doctrinally conservative Catholic with liturgically eclectic tendencies. Pro-life feminist in the tradition of the nineteenth-century suffragists. Have had a crisis pregnancy. Have volunteered with a Birthright center. Been volunteering with kids for a couple of decades. Make regular contributions to those less fortunate.

    I bear you no ill-will, PFD, but if you’re going to sashay into a combox and post a bunch of inflammatory accusations and rambling rants, you shouldn’t be too surprised if some of the gentlemen reading forget they’re gentlemen.

  • Dear readers-

    Good for you! We need to work hard to end abortion by election of more Pro-Life Democrats who will pass laws in this respect and Pray for those who want abortion and have back alley shops they call offices! God will do his thing!

    Respect,

    Robert L. Jones
    A Blue Dog Democrat
    http://www.democratsforlife.org

  • Is abortion wrong because abortion is anti family, against God’s law, and/or coercive?

  • Student,

    That is part of it. But mostly because it violates the Fifth Commandment of “You shall not kill”, ie, killing innocent babies.

  • This blog post and the comments are an excellent witness to both the Catholic faith and the “pro-life, whole life” doctrine it teaches. Pro-family Democrat, you are in my prayers. Kudos to everyone here who will doubtlessly be called “good and faithful servants” by our heavenly Father some day!

  • Thank you so much for this very interesting post. I am pro-life, but disagree with the Republican party about just about everything else. If anything, I am probably a bit more liberal than the Democratic party on many issues. I feel in such a crisis about this. I like what you wrote about “limited government” verses “limited responsibility” and the importance of the common good.

    I was just talking with my husband–actually in tears–because I have always been political and civic minded and voted since age 18, and yet I feel like I have no one to vote for.

    For the record, I am not Catholic, although I am Christian. And also for the record, I am a woman and a feminist and have been pro-life almost all of my life. But that is not what matters. Sadly, I do think that a lot of liberal men who otherwise might be pro-life are bullied by the more radical elements in the pro-choice movement–are told that they have no right to have an opinion about abortion because they are men, which is irrelevant if abortion is murder.

    Anyway. Sorry to crash your party, but I wanted to say that what you are doing is inspiring.

  • Should God’s laws influence (if not control) government’s laws?

  • From: Lila Cuajunco
    Date: Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 7:03 AM
    Subject: Fwd: FW: Fwd: Fw: OPEN LETTER TO OBAMA
    To: prolifelila@gmail.com

    On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 1:38 AM, Lila Cuajunco wrote:
    Hi Georgia – Thanks for the Open Letter to Obama. I will send it to my
    congressman.

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Georgia Froncek
    Date: Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM
    Subject: Fwd: FW: Fwd: Fw: OPEN LETTER TO OBAMA

    This letter you are about to read was written by a 4th grade teacher
    recently. She even gave the world her telephone and fax numbers. She
    is a brave, bright, PATRIOT! We are in dire need of more true American
    citizens who are proud of OUR United States of America . WAKE UP
    AMERICA . . . Please . . . Before it is too late!

    April 27, 2009

    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington , DC 20500

    Mr. Obama:

    I have had it with you and your administration, sir. Your conduct on
    your recent trip overseas has convinced me that you are not an
    adequate representative of the United States of America collectively
    or of me personally.

    You are so obsessed with appeasing the Europeans and the Muslim world
    that you have abdicated the responsibilities of the President of the
    United States of America. You are responsible to the citizens of the
    United States.

    You are not responsible to the peoples of any other country on earth.
    I personally resent that you go around the world apologizing for the
    United States telling Europeans that we are arrogant and do not care
    about their status in the world. Sir, what do you think the First
    World War and the Second World War were all about if not the
    consideration of the peoples of Europe ? Are you brain dead ? What do
    you think the Marshall Plan was all about?

    Do you not understand or know the history of the 20th century? Where
    do you get off telling a Muslim country that the United States does
    not consider itself a Christian country? Have you not read the
    Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States ?
    This country was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and the principles
    governing this country, at least until you came along, come directly
    from this heritage. Do you not understand this?

    Your bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia is an affront to all
    Americans. Our President does not bow down to anyone, let alone the
    king of S Audi Arabia. You don’t show Great Britain , our best and one
    of our oldest allies, the respect they deserve yet you bow down to the
    king of Saudi Arabia. How dare you, sir! How dare you!

    You can’t find the time to visit the graves of our greatest
    generation because you don’t want to offend the Germans but make time
    to visit a mosque in Turkey . You offended our dead and every veteran
    when you give the Germans more respect than the people who saved the
    German people from themselves. What’s the matter with you?

    I am convinced that you and the members of your administration have
    the historical and intellectual depth of a mud puddle and should be
    ashamed of yourselves, all of you. You are so self-righteously
    offended by the big bankers and the American automobile manufacturers
    yet do nothing about the real thieves in this situation, Mr. Dodd, Mr.
    Frank, Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelic, the Fannie Mae bonuses, and the
    Freddie Mac bonuses. What do you intend to do about them? Anything? I
    seriously doubt it.

    What about the US . House members passing out $9.1 million in bonuses
    to their staff members – on top of the $2.5 million in automatic pay
    raises that lawmakers gave themselves? I understand the average House
    aide got a 17% bonus. I took a 5% cut in my pay to save jobs with my
    employer.

    You haven’t said anything about that. Who authorized that? I surely
    didn’t! Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be receiving
    $210 million in bonuses over an eighteen-month period, that’s $45
    million more than the AIG bonuses. In fact, Fannie and Freddie
    executives have already been awarded $51 million – not a bad take. Who
    authorized that and why haven’t you expressed your outrage at this
    group who are largely responsible for the economic mess we have right
    now.

    You can’t blame ANY of the above on George W. Bush. WHY are you so
    determined to give this country’s dwindling wealth to corrupt
    politicians and your corrupt friends?

    I resent that you take me and my fellow citizens as brain-dead and
    not caring about what you idiots do. We are watching what you are
    doing and we are getting increasingly fed up with all of you. I also
    want you to know that I personally find just about everything you do
    and say to be offensive to every one of my sensibilities. I promise
    you that I will work tirelessly to see that you do not get a chance to
    spend two terms destroying my beautiful country.

    Sincerely,
    Every Real American

    P.S. I rarely ask that e-mails be ‘passed around’…………
    PLEASE SEND THIS TO YOUR EMAIL LIST……it’s past time for all
    Americans to wake up!

    Ms Kathleen Lyday
    Fourth Grade Teacher
    Grandview Elementary School
    11470 Hwy. C Hillsboro,
    MO 63050
    (636) 944-3291 Phone
    (636) 944-3870 Fax
    >
    >
    >

5 Responses to Catholic View of the Political Community (Part 3)

  • I think the Catechism deals with the question of patriotism vs. what you call “My Country Right or Wrong abuse of patriotism”. The Catechism would call the latter nationalism. Patriotism itself is seen as a reflection of the virtue of justice as as such a proper duty for each person.

  • No argument there. Patriotism is a good thing, but is soured when it begins the process of excusing/overlooking/or outright supporting moral evils or lackings in a given nation. I use the term patriotism more than nationalism because most Americans are unfamiliar with the term nationalism to describe things here in the U.S., and find it convenient to hide behind the term- patriotism- as if you couldn’t go wrong being patriotic even to the extreme. What is that old saying- patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels- or something like that. I see this sort of thing in the drumbeat to war- in the debate on how best to “Support the Troops”. I will write a future article on my own decision to join the military in the early 80’s, and how my thinking goes today. Patriotism is something that we can all relate to, and it is a great discussion to have among serious Catholics. We don’t want to fall into the Zealots camp anymore than we want to become likened to the Pharisees- both missed Jesus bigtime!

  • C.S. Lewis in “The Four Loves” discusses the various types of love of country. To summarize what he said — which I have found very helpful — patriotism exists on several levels.

    At its most basic it is simply an attachment to your home and culture, to the things you grew up with (food, music, holidays, landscape, etc.) This type of patriotism, Lewis says, is usually not at all aggressive, but simply wants to be left alone, and respects other people’s right to enjoy their “homes” equally. I suspect that for many Americans, this kind of patriotism attaches to their home state or city as well as to their country.

    Another type of patriotism is pride in the legendary or iconic deeds and words of the country’s heroes and founders (e.g. the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving, Washington chopping down the cherry tree, Old West cowboys). Lewis says there is nothing wrong with this kind of patriotism or pride in one’s country, but it should NOT be confused with the actual, factual history of one’s country, which has to include the bad as well as the good.

    The last and potentially most dangerous form of patriotism is the belief that one’s country is inherently superior to all others. Attempting to remake other countries in the image of one’s own can be done aggressively through war, or commercially through colonization, or in more subtle ways. It is this kind of patriotism that corresponds most closely with “nationalism” in the sense that the Catechism uses.

  • Right on elaine- I have absorbed a lot of C.S. Lewis over the years- I really like the above description- thanks

  • Tim,

    Back from Father’s Day weekend. It may be that Americans may confuse the term but perhaps that is that it has not been used with them. Given that we are seeking to form the basis of the conversation for understanding political community it would also be good to start with proper terms. I agree with Elaine that C.S. Lewis has good insight to this though again it would be good to distinguish the terms. I find most Americans capable of learning this even given the status of Public Education. As for the Zeolots/Pharisees and Nationalism see:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11789b.htm

    Since we are trying to understand the political community I would also say that we do not think of Jesus in terms of “revolution.” Such a term has political implications all its own. Redemption is I believe a better Catholic starting point.

Catholic View of the Political Community (Part 2)

Monday, June 15, AD 2009

Here I continue with the slow build-up of an authentic Catholic worldview on the true nature of the Political Community- as outlined by the authoritative Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Chapter 8). This second paragraph contains more of the Old Testament outlook on Kingship, with the earthly kings of Israel finding their deepest fulfillment in Christ the King. But there is more to be said about the political community and responsibilities of citizen(s) and ruler(s). We will see the development in the social doctrine as we go forward through the Compendium’s teachings. We cannot point to one specific epoch in the history of the Church and the Chosen People, and make final assertions about things- we must look closely at how the current doctrines of the Church have developed, so we can see the consistent core principles. Here goes with paragraph 378:

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A Big Blind Spot (From "Dads Protecting Daughters")

Sunday, June 14, AD 2009

Here is an announcement I wrote for my Facebook Cause “Dads Protecting Daughters”):

In creating this cause (Dads Protecting Daughters) to protect my daughters (and son), I thought of it as primarily addressing the threats from the outside- the political/cultural/economic ones. But recently I had a skin cancer scare (should be ok- surgery is June 17 appreciate your prayers).

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One Response to A Big Blind Spot (From "Dads Protecting Daughters")

  • Indeed. As fathers, we assume we’ll be there for our children, and only hope we’ll be able to do the right thing. And as children, we tend to assume our fathers will always be around as well — at least until they’re “old”.

    I know it was a comfort to my father that (despite having been diagnosed with Lymphoma) he lived until his children were all grown. Though since he died just as I was myself embarking on fatherhood, I sometimes find it hard now to know if I’m acting “like a father” or not. I remember how my father seemed to me, as a child. But there are so many things about which I wish I could ask, “What were you thinking back when I was doing that?” or “Did you have days like this?”

    As Christians we know our loved ones are not truly gone, but the gap and the silence of it is painful at times.

Miracles

Saturday, June 13, AD 2009

The zeal for living that my 1 year old son exhibits inspires me. He wants to explore everywhere, he is so quick to find something hilarious, he loves craziness, and he cries with passion whenever he sees his sister crying. One word keeps coming to my mind when I just look at the faces of my kids- Miracle. They keep growing and changing, but this thought keeps coming at me- they weren’t even in existence just a few short years ago- but now I can’t imagine the universe without them. They started off life as something so tiny they couldn’t be seen without a microscope- now they are undeniably eternally significant forces of life and love.

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6 Responses to Miracles

  • “Forget the political and legal stuff for the moment, and just remember this- our children are not our enemy, they are our greatest gift”

    I definitely agree on this. In whatever circumstance having a child is the greatest gift from God. And in any manner abortion is anti life, anit God. I guess that is true in all religion.

  • Each child is God’s vote of confidence in the human race; each abortion is our way of telling God that His confidence is misplaced.

  • I worked for awhile at a middle school and I had never been around children. Even while working there, children didn’t effect me. And then, I went on to another job. But about 3-6 months after, it really hit me how sweet all these little people were though already above the grade school level.

    Again, hearing it on Relevant Radio, it was summed up well, the Miracle is often the birth and a new baby coming into the world, crying or however.

    Partial birth is also the birthing process and yet, that beautiful act, is perverted with the acts of the surgeons. It is just the opposite.

  • The proudest moment of my life is and always will be the day I gave birth to my daughter. I regret that I never got to have that experience again, but I thank God I had that privilege at all, since I have relatives and friends who wanted children and never got to have any.

    Tom brings to mind something else that has been on my mind lately. In Springfield school kids on field trips and families on vacation are everywhere, touring Lincoln sites, museums, and the Capitol. Large groups of middle school age kids come through the Capitol complex nearly every day during the “spring rush” season.

    When I see little kids climb up on the Lincoln statue in front of the Capitol to get their pictures taken, or chase each other around the oak trees on the lawn, or file into one of the elaborately decorated hearing rooms to listen to one of the tour guides, sometimes, maudlin though this sounds, I get moved to tears by it. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why until I read this post.

    I think it’s because everything is still new and wonderful to them, they haven’t been worn down by cynicism and scandal yet, and they don’t care about corruption, pay to play, reform, taxation, and all the other stuff that keeps us grownups tied up in knots. They just know that something really important goes on there, and that important people once walked these halls and these streets, and it’s a privilege to get to see it.

    We often say that elected officials should act more like grownups. I agree, yet in some ways, maybe they ought to act more like children. At the very least maybe they ought to give more weight to what those children will think of them 20 or 30 or 40 years from now, than what the voters will think of them next year.

  • Good to hear the comments- again more universal insights I am not surprised- sometimes we just have to set aside the politics and just let the spirit flow in a more poetic direction. I didn’t start writing this post to have anything to do with abortion, I only had the first paragraph in my mind, and then something got me going thinking of the absolute opposite of the reality I experience with my children- abortion is the opposite of everything I have discovered about the joy of life in being a papa. I don’t want anyone to be misled, I don’t want anyone to have the kind of regret that comes from learning the truth about abortion after the fact. Children don’t always come at the time we plan or even seek them- and it is a 24-7 job once they are here- but my God they are the best thing ever- I don’t care how much personal freedom and space I have lost. I can’t even begin to describe the spiritual blessings I have received in accepting and loving my kids- and this is no male-only view- my wife feels exactly the same way I do- we are on exactly the same page where the children are concerned- and this is maybe where couples get into trouble- when one understands the godliness associated with parenting, and the other remains aloof and misses out by not seeing or feeling the miracle- I can see how traumatic that could be in a marriage. If my wife didn’t “get” it, I think I would feel like we were strangers somehow. Thanks be to God for my fireproofed marriage, and I pray for all those who are struggling, those marriages and relationships being challenged instead of strengthened by the children created in these unions- May the grace of God be theirs.

  • Tim, if you gave a speech like this before any group of dedicated pro-life PAC’s, I can’t help but think you’d get their endorsement immediately! Your political troubles would be over! I’m moved to tears by it!

Where's Jesus?

Thursday, April 16, AD 2009

ihs

When Obama gave an economics speech at Georgetown, the monogram IHS in the background was covered over at the request of the White House.  I approve!  Whenever this President speaks at a Catholic college, anything related to Christ should be covered over!  I will leave to others to debate whether Georgetown is a Catholic college!

Update I: Father Z unleashes one of his unforgettable fiskings on this story here.

Udate II: Excellent commentary here.

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6 Responses to Where's Jesus?

  • I had to read this a few times before I got it,
    “I approve! Whenever this President speaks at a Catholic college, anything related to Christ should be covered over!”

    I still think we should be praying for him, even as we disagree with his polices and viewpoints. Work within the legal bounds to curtail, slow or block some of the actions his administration wish to implement, but we all ought to be begging the intersession of our Patroness, Mary of the Immaculate Conception, the intervention of the Holy Spirit and the compassion of Our Risen Lord.

  • Well said Sandra.

  • This is the university which removed crucifixes from the classrooms.

    It is also the university, like Fordham, which was first financed by the sale of slaves.

  • I agree. In fairness to Obama, it is possible that the Notre Dame controversy has sensitized his handlers such that they did not want to make it look like Obama’s speech had some type of Church imprimatur, or more specifically, give ammo to those who would accuse him of making it look so. For this pro-abort President to give a speech in front of explicitly Catholic symbols runs the risk of being inflammatory in a way that is not helpful to his presidency. It was a good political move, I think. In a way, the question is which is worse, Obama giving a speech in front of Catholic imagery or Obama asking that the imagery be removed before he gives his speech? I agree with Don that the first is worse, and I suspect that Obama’s handlers worried that enough Catholics would feel that way that they understood where the better part of valor rests

  • O think that the Catholic Church should withdraw the status of “Catholic” to Universities like Georgetown or Notre Dame

  • Mike- you are too clever by half. Please do not employ nuance where knuckleheadedness is more applicable. Of course, Georgetown is Catholic to the same extent that say Terrell Owens is a team player. Only when useful. Then the image comes down. As yet another DC Establishment Player, it was more than willing to cooperate with the White House’s wishes. Thus earning derisive scorn in this Obama To Notre Dame period. If Dear Leader was scheduled to address students virtually in this section of his backyard, yawn and double yawn. A few years back, took the dedicated K of C chapter on campus to put crucifixes back in classrooms. Mere covering of IHS is just more of the same. 30 pieces of silver and all.

Who Killed Christ

Friday, April 10, AD 2009

When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.”

And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.”

Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.
Matthew 27:24-27

These short lines have, through the fallen nature of humanity, caused their fair share of trouble over the centuries. The gospel message, through primarily one of hope and redemption, contains one dark undertone: Christ died for our sins. The one truly perfect being suffered horrifically because of our too clear imperfection.

It is in our nature to shy away from that which is unpleasant, and so it is perhaps no surprise that throughout history some Christians have attempted to assuage their own consciences by pointing the finger of blame at an obvious target: the Jews.

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7 Responses to Who Killed Christ

  • Mirrors are always good when asking the question who killed Christ. They are also good when asking the question who can be saved by Christ.

  • The real answer to the question, “Who killed Christ?” is: We did.

    More correctly: I did.

    “anti-Semitic one.

    At the same time, one can acknowledge the historical fact that Jewish leaders and individuals are directly responsible for the historical crucifixion, without being “anti-Semitic”. The New Testament is full of references to the “Jews” persecuting Christ, would that mean the author was anti-Semitic?

  • At the same time, one can acknowledge the historical fact that Jewish leaders and individuals are directly responsible for the historical crucifixion, without being “anti-Semitic”. The New Testament is full of references to the “Jews” persecuting Christ, would that mean the author was anti-Semitic?

    Not at all. The sense in which I wanted to refer to an “anti-Semitic” interpretation would be if one is saying, “The Jews, those people over there, certainly no one like me, they were the one’s who killed Christ.”

    As a historical matter, it was clearly the Jewish leaders and mob who called for Christ’s death.

  • DC,

    thanks for clarifying, you are of course quite right.

  • More correctly: I did.

    Why is this “more correct” than “we did”? Can you explain? Are you some kind of liberal individualist?

  • Pontius Pilot, personally believing in Our Lord’s innocence, did not want to impose his views upon the masses. He, thus, washed his hands of guilt.

    Much as we do when we remain silent in defense of the unborn!

    Primary Principle: Thou Shalt Not Kill Innocent Human Life! Silence is complicity!

8 Responses to Christ in Flanders

  • Thanks for this.

  • You are very welcome Phillip!

  • ‘I knew a simple soldier boy
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    No one spoke of him again.’

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

    ‘Suicide in the trenches’ by Siegfried Sassoon.

    Wear a Poppy with pride. Lest We Forget.

  • Stand-To: Good Friday Morning

    I’d been on duty from two till four.
    I went and stared at the dug-out door.
    Down in the frowst I heard them snore.
    ‘Stand to!’ Somebody grunted and swore.
    Dawn was misty; the skies were still;
    Larks were singing, discordant, shrill;
    They seemed happy; but I felt ill.
    Deep in water I splashed my way
    Up the trench to our bogged front line.
    Rain had fallen the whole damned night.
    O Jesus, send me a wound to-day,
    And I’ll believe in Your bread and wine,
    And get my bloody old sins washed white!

    Siegfried Sassoon

    Which of course Sassoon eventually did when he joined the Catholic Church in 1957.

  • In Flanders Fields
    By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
    Canadian Army

    In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

  • My father used to recite “Christ in Flanders” to our family when I was growing up. He was wounded twice in France, and that`s all we knew, otherwise he never talked about the war at all. I have been trying to find out who wrote this poem, and now don`t know how Honore de Balzac could be the author, as he died in l850 yet that is what it says in one of the references. If it is “L.W.” what more do we know of him? Surely somebody can help!

  • Lucy Whitmell is the poet

  • Thank you Megan!

17 Responses to We Have No King But Jesus

  • It would be nice to see this blog put into practice this insight that we have no king but Jesus. Nice words, but there is little behind them.

  • Not even Thanksgiving is a good enough reason to take a break from unfair generalizations and polemics, eh?

  • Catholic Anarchist you never let any American holiday go by without displaying your hatred of your native land do you? I truly do pity you.

  • The Feast of Christ the King is not an American holiday, Donald.

  • But you showed up and left your comment nearly a week after the Feast of Christ the King, as part of your fuss about people’s Thanksgiving posts.

    I must admit, Michael, I’m never quite clear what it is that you consider putting Christ above king to consist of — other than sharing your personal preferences and prejudices on a range of topics. And yet, I must asume that there are many ways to grant God proper place, respect, and worship in our lives other than being Michael Iafrate.

  • Darwin, that comment made no sense. Rephrase?

  • With less intricate sentence structure:

    You often comment that others put America before Catholicism. Your comment that it would be nice if people here “had no king but Jesus” seems very much along those lines.

    Your use of this accusation often seems to amount to, “You have different opinions about American culture and politics than I do!”

    I’m not clear why differing from your assessment of American culture and politics amounts to putting America before the Church. Surely being Michael Iafrate is not the only correct way to have a correctly ordered relationship to God and Country.

  • I’m not clear why differing from your assessment of American culture and politics amounts to putting America before the Church.

    But clearly I’m not critiquing just any difference of opinion, but the fact that so many bloggers here buy into American civil religion, most especially the pseudo-worship of soldiers. Many of you have more respect for U.S. troops than you do for the U.S. bishops. That’s a problem.

  • Depends on the soldier and the bishop 🙂

  • Michael,

    Like your open support of pro-abortion Obama than you do for U.S. Bishops?

  • Michael – caricatures and insults are easy – any drunk at a baseball game can do that much. If there is a specific position that I or someone else has taken that you think indicates membership in “American civil religion”, please bring it to our attention. You may be right after all; but sweeping generalizations don’t help anybody.

  • Michael,

    While “guy into American civil religion” is a wonderfully grad-school-ish phrase of derision, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen you convincingly make the case that your opponents participate in it, other than simply making the assertion when people express sentiments you disagree with. Nor does your claim about the “pseudo-worship of soldiers” strike me as particularly sensible. Certainly, a number of us frequently express gratitude for the sacrifices that soldiers make. I’m sure that you would agree it is not easy or pleasant to be deployed in often primitive conditions, away from family, exposed to danger, and under obedience. I think most people recognize this and are thus thankful for the sacrifices which servicemen make on their country’s behalf.

    Many of you have more respect for U.S. troops than you do for the U.S. bishops. That’s a problem.

    Again, I’m not really sure what you mean by this.

    Certainly, there are many here who have criticized the USCCB as a body or bishops individually on various issues. Surely you can hardly criticize this, as you once (to my mind wrongly) accused the entire USCCB with the exception of one eastern rite bishops of lacking male genitals, simply because you thought the bishops should have used rhetoric similar to your own about the Iraq War.

    I would wager that everyone here respects the office of bishop more than the office of soldier. The soldier’s office is to obey and to have courage, willingness to sacrifice and suffer the deprivations of being in danger far from home. The bishop’s office is to be a shepherd to the people of Christ, providing them with both teaching and the sacraments. In that much, much more is expected of an individual bishop than of an individual soldier, it can hardly be surprising that it is easy to criticize bishops for not living up to their duties.

    While people should keep this in mind, and be hesitant to criticize the bishops excessively, I don’t really see how it could even be a reasonable comparison to argue that someone has more respect for soldiers as a group than for bishops as a group. Certainly not unless someone had been so foolish as to actually state the sentiment openly.

    Your making it against people here doesn’t really strike me as any more reasonable than if I were to say that you respected Chomsky more than the bishops.

  • Many of you have more respect for U.S. troops than you do for the U.S. bishops. That’s a problem.

    A phantom one, at best. Showing respect for our troops in no way diminishes our respect for our bishops, whether we blog about it or not. Frankly, I find that our soldiers are in much more need for our prayers and support, given the danger they’re in (not just of imminent death, but psychological trauma, and spiritual decay). But I don’t see how you come off making your accusation. Our soldiers work to gain us temporal good; our bishops work to gain us eternal spiritual good. That the latter is so obviously more valuable should barely warrant comment.

    Buy into American civil religion? How so? I suppose that if you believe people here at A.C. support unjust war and torture and lining the pockets of the rich at the expense of the poor, you have reason to believe we are in error. But maybe you’ll be willing to explain how those are even part of this “American civil religion” you mentioned. And maybe you’ll consider that there’s a difference between the “religion” and the practitioners. The U.S. is against unjust war, against torture, and dedicated to helping the poor and the righting of injustices. Where is that even in conflict with the Catholic Church? I’ll concede that we’ve had people, even presidents, that have not molded well to what America stands for, but then we’re arguing about sinners and application of principles.

    It would be nice to see this blog put into practice this insight that we have no king but Jesus.

    It would be nice to see something more substantive as a comment than just a snide statement. Really, Michael, I’ve read your comments for a while, and they mostly seem to have no point but to deride. Getting more insightful statements from you is like pulling teeth. Granted, I’ll give you that some of us have not been the most charitable towards you, but if you have valid concerns about what we’re doing here at A.C., it would be far more helpful, constructive, and enlightening–both for those of us who contribute directly and those who read here looking for insight–if you took some time not just to point out flaws, but even explain how you even believe we have these flaws, and what you think we should do to fix them.

    But clearly I’m not critiquing just any difference of opinion, but the fact that so many bloggers here buy into American civil religion,

    This is exactly my concern about your comments. You simply make this brash statement with nothing around it make it insightful or helpful. Maybe I’m just dense, but when you say “American civil religion”, what are you even talking about? Such a statement is pretty vacuous because there’s not context behind it. Maybe for you, it should be obvious that it means something like “worshiping G.W. Bush as God”, but for me, when you say “American civil religion” what I think of is the religion of “me before anyone else”, “no one can interfere with my ‘sexual rights'”, “as long as it doesn’t ‘hurt’ anyone else”, and so forth.

    DC tried to involve you into an actual conversation (though arguably not the best way of going about it) of how what we’re doing here places America before Church, and you respond with just another unsubstantiated assertion that we’re, in your opinion, placing America before Church. I know I feel, and probably most others feel, that you’re stating A, and then try to prove A by restating A.

    Moreover, these discussions we could be having are some of the important discussion to have. Yet it feels too much of the time that the conversation just becomes “You’re wrong–nuh uh–yeah huh–nuh uh–yeah huh–nuh uh–yeah huh….”

  • Maybe I’m just dense, but when you say “American civil religion”, what are you even talking about? Such a statement is pretty vacuous because there’s not context behind it.

    Sure there is. “ACR” is a term with a meaning. Perhaps you could look it up instead of saying that my statement has no meaning.

  • Still waiting on an argument or evidence Michael…

  • You’ll be waiting for a long time . . . his sneers aren’t often backed up by any rational thought process.

  • That a term has a meaning does not mean that it can be applied to a person or group without justification. I can thinking of a lot of terms which I might apply to you, which you would no doubt consider to be inaccurate descriptions, despite the fact that the terms do very much have meaning.

    If you’re talking about “American civic religion” in the sense coined by Bellah in the 60s, my recollection is that this was a sociological term used to describe a shared set of ideals, values, holidays and “civic rituals”. It does not necessarily designate, as you seem to imply, worship of the state — or indeed a reverential or religious attitude towards the state at all.

    Given your general attitude towards things American I can see why you would use it as a derogatory label — and perhaps you read people who do. Sociology is not particularly my bag. But even if so, you don’t appear to be making a sociological argument, but rather imagining that you’ve come up with a rather damning indictment of the general tenor here. And at least from a general knowledge of the term, I don’t see how your statement is meaningful.